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Never Ending

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AN - This is an AU story that begins just after the Doctor Who episode "The Last of the Time Lords," and after the Torchwood episode "To The Last Man." It does not include the Titanic crashing into the TARDIS. Some events of prior episodes differ from canon, and those changes will be discussed later in the story. I love reading your reviews, so please tell me what you think!

Text indicates the TARDIS' telepathic communication.

Prologue Aboard the TARDIS on route to the Medusa Cascade

The Doctor wandered around the control room of the TARDIS lost in thought. He was alone for this first time since he lost Rose, leaving him an inordinate amount of time to reflect over the last few years. Rose, Jack, Martha . . . he had failed each of them.

Martha, her life and the that of her family had been forever changed by the "year that never was." He couldn't blame her for staying, they all needed time to heal from their experiences. He felt slightly embarrassed by Martha's declaration. He honestly had no idea that she felt that way about him. How could he, when every thought of the kind was focused on the one he lost, his Rose.

Oh, he was happy for her. She was alive, living in an alternate dimension with her mother, Mickey and other Pete. It was far better than what had almost happened that day at Canary Wharf. He had come so close to losing her to the void. He had to keep telling his hearts that their separation was for the best, she was alive and that's all that matters. If only the Master had not been driven mad by the vortex. Together they could have brought Rose back, they could have been together. He shook his head. It was no use dwelling on those things that were time-locked, not even he could change them.

And then there was Jack; if he were honest, it was his dealings with Jack which most consumed him with shame.

When he first left him on Gamestation 5 he did so on pure instinct, not to mention the fact that he was dying at the time. He simply ran from the abomination of a fixed point in time and space. His words to Jack haunted him, "you're just wrong." He couldn't get the look of hurt on Jack's face out of his head. And then that horrible year, he had maintained a stoic façade because he thought that it was for the best, that the Master would only be spurred on by any reaction from him. But as he watched Jack tortured and killed day after day, seeing the hope fade from his eyes with every death, he wondered if maybe he should have done something, anything to help his friend.

Though things had ended as well as they could, those onboard the Valiant would carry the mental scars with them the rest of their lives, and in Jack's case, forever. If there was anything good to come of that horrid experience, it seemed to help Jack to settle his heart. All Jack talked about after it was all over was getting back to his team, and to Ianto. He would have to stop in sometime to meet this Ianto, anyone that could capture the heart of the flirtatious former time agent was someone worth meeting. Maybe he could convince them to come travel with him for a while, maybe that would begin to help make up for all that Jack had suffered since they began their travels together.

All of a sudden a loud beeping sounded from the TARDIS' console and she shifted violently, changing course mid-flight.

Picking himself off the deck the Doctor stumbled to the controls to find out what had caused the TARDIS to react to the alert.

"Bedlam Outlands? NO! Absolutely not!" He yelled to the TARDIS. "What could ever induce you to go to the Bedlam Outlands? They are absolute cretins!"

The TARDIS hummed in return.

"What do you mean it's what I want? Are you sure you're alright, no burnt out wires?"

No my Doctor. This is what you wanted though, a chance to make things up to Jack. What we will find here will be the greatest gift you could ever give him, his wife.

"Wife! Not his bondmate surely, she's been dead for years!"

Not all things are as they appear, you of all people should know that Doctor. She has been held captive for almost fifty years in her timeline, by the same monsters that attacked Jack's home and abducted his brother. She has waited all this time-

"His brother as well! Well! Why didn't you say so straight off?" The Doctor grinned and stroked the console. "Allons-y!"


Bedlam Outlands, 5089

Pain . . . always pain. Never-ending, ebbing and flowing.

The physical torture she could take, had been for well over fifty years. It became increasingly easy to retreat into her mind during their sadistic "play time" as they liked to call it.

No, it was the psychological torture that threatened her tenuous hold on sanity. It was a miracle really that she hadn't completely gone round the twist yet. Over fifty years of continuous torture and they hadn't managed to break her yet.

Oh they had come close, very close over the years. The worst had been when she was forced to watch her mate, the one she had pledged her eternity to, with her own brother. Now that just about finished her.

She didn't know how they had managed it, but somehow her Marwolaethian captors had discovered how to manipulate the psychic bondmate link. Under normal circumstances bondmates shared a connection that would allow for the sharing of thoughts, feelings and even actions, nothing could separate them. No link could ever be severed, except through death, and even then it was only temporarily suspended until the mates reunited on the same plane. At least that's how it used to be.

They had managed to make their link one-sided. She could see, feel and hear him; and yet he thought she was dead, thought that he was condemned to spend his endless life separated from her.

During those increasingly rare moments of rational thought she couldn't blame him for seeking out comfort and distractions; he was hurting, living his own personal hell. Whatever happened to him that made him unable to die, had also happened to her. Oh the joys of the bond! Most mates died shortly after the departure of their mate, unable to endure the separation. Not him though, not Jack.

Jack . . . that's the name he was using now, Captain Jack Harkness. Somewhat pretentious in her opinion, so it fit.

I'll have to think of a new name again. I'll need it once I get out of here. I have to find him, to end his suffering. I love him too much to allow him to continue to endure this . . . even though he seems to have tried to replace me . . .

Some days she hated him. Hated him for not finding her, for not realizing that she was still alive, hated him for all the times she had to watch as he unknowingly betrayed her time and again with someone new. Recently though, she hated him for the way he was treating him.

How could he not see, not know who he is . . . the one they had waited for for so long. He was the reason, the one thing that kept her going. Not Jack, he was a jumble of pain and longing in her mind. No, it was him; her beautiful second mate, who loves so completely, with such devotion. He gave her hope. She could feel him, and she thought at times that he might be able to feel her just a little. They weren't bonded yet so the link was just developing, but it was enough to see the beauty of the soul made for them. Oh how she longed for him, to hold him and help him chase away the nightmares.

She had felt him for a few years now. Felt his devotion to Lisa, his heartbreak and guilt at her demise, his hatred toward Jack, and recently his growing affection for her immortal mate. She rejoiced to see the love and tenderness he gave to Jack, he truly has the purest of hearts. But Jack, oh how that man angered her. He refused to see it, to accept what he knew to be true. Ianto was theirs. He was the one they had waited for since discovering at their bonding that they were incomplete, there was a third.

Ian-to, such a glorious name. Gift of God indeed. I can't wait to meet him, to see the look on his face when he realizes! Hah, that should be epic! Oh and then there is that coffee that Jack is absolutely fixated on, I have to try some!

Even now, chained in the bowels of a Marwolaethian ship, she was determined to reach them. She wasn't exactly sure how she would do it, maybe try to take out the guards again during her weekly hose-down that was meant to substitute for a shower. She would succeed though, and then she and her vortex manipulator would be on their way to Earth in the 21st century.

First she was going to deck that husband of hers, and then she was going to give her Ianto the snogging of his life. He thought Jack Harkness was good, hah . . . he had to learn it somewhere!

Just hold on love, I'm coming-

Suddenly the air around her started to whip and whirl and the strangest sound seemed to come from the midst of the whirlwind. And then as suddenly as it started, the winds stopped and a blue box appeared before her.

"Police Box," what the hell? Could it be the Judoon? I didn't think that they traveled like this. Although I have been out of commission for a while, maybe things have changed.

The door, or what she assumed was the door, of the box opened and out stepped a wirery man in a brown pin-striped suit and great hair, really great hair.

Okay, not Judoon. Not quite human either though, if my senses are correct. Hmm, odd fashion sense.

"Hello Mrs. Harkness, can I call you Mrs. Harkness, that is who you are after all?"

"Who-" she rasped. She wasn't used to using her voice, except to scream. "Who are you?"

"Well then, I'm the Doctor and I'm here to rescue you." He grinned maniacally while bouncing on the balls of his feet. "Always wanted to say that . . . very dashing don't you think?"

AN 2 - Marwolaethian is a term I made up for the captors in this story using the Welsh word for death, Marwolaeth.

Chapter Text

Chapter 1 - Rescue and a Name

Holding Cell VII, Vessel XXIV, Bedlam Outlands, 5089

“Um, sure . . . how do you know who I am? How did you know where to find me?”

“Weeeell, let’s just say that we have a mutual friend, a few in fact. But there are two in particular that are in need of your presence. Now - shall we?”

“Now that you’ve told me almost nothing . . . sure why not? What do I have to lose? Mind helping me with this little manacle situation?”

“Of course. How silly of me! Can’t have you hanging about like that can we?”

“It does get a little old after a few decades.” She retorted dryly.

The odd man leaned down and pulled out a strange looking cylinder and pointed it toward the cuffs. They easily fell from her wrists and clattered to the ground of her concrete cell. Before he could react she mustered her strength and knocked the weapon from his grasp, slamming him to the ground.

All things considered he should have expected this reaction. The TARDIS had filled him in on the details of the relationship between Jack and his wife, which she had gleaned from Jack's mind during his time aboard the TARDIS.

“Now I don’t know who you really are and what your game is, but you had better tell me straight before I crush your windpipe!” She hissed from her perch on top of him.

“Gah-” The Doctor gasped trying to speak. “Need air-!”

She barely eased the pressure on his throat, allowing him to talk.

“I told you the truth, I swear. I am called the Doctor, and I did come to rescue you.”

“Why though? What’s in it for you?”

She struggled to keep her voice down so as not to alert the guards.

“Mutual friend.”

“No, not good enough! Mutual friend my arse! Who sent you here and for what purpose?”

She pressed down again, quickly losing patience.

I should just kill him and take his ship. It has to be some kind of ship, a powerful one at that, to get in here. 10 seconds, that’s it, give him 10 seconds.

“Alright,” the Doctor gasped. “It’s Jack! He doesn’t know I’m here, he still thinks you’re dead. The TARDIS only discovered your whereabouts by accident, and I owe him, I owe him big. Don’t tell him I said that though, he’ll never let me live it down. Once she figured out you were alive and that you were being held here, well, we decided to come and rescue you for Jack!”

She looked closer at his face, slowly releasing him.

“Wait a minute . . . it’s you! Jack’s Doctor! You’re the one that abandoned him on the gamestation, you called him ‘wrong’, you just sat there while that maniac tortured and killed him over and over! I should kill you for what you’ve done to my mate!”

Despite her angry words she released the Doctor and slipped from on top of him.

“Yes,” the Doctor replied as he slowly sat up, breathing heavily and grasping his throat. He wondered how she knew those things. “Yes you’re right, I did do those things. Not particularly proud of them mind you, but it’s done and now I’m here to take you home to him.”

The Doctor looked at her with ancient eyes, each of them staring at the other, gaging the situation. He recalled what the TARDIS had told him about this woman and Jack. They met through the Time Agency after Jack had joined to search for his brother. She had joined up to see the universe, a youthful impulse brought on by the total lack of prospects on her native colony planet, Eternity, and a desire to experience life away from a younger brother that she was constantly bailing out of trouble. Ironically that same brother followed after her, joining the Time Agency about a year after she had. By that time she had completed her training and was assigned her first partner, Jack. There were sparks from the moment they met, and not the fun kind. Both were desperate to prove themselves capable agents, and were consequently stubbornly independent. She proved herself to be just a lethal as Jack, even more so in hand-to-hand combat, and so they quickly made a name for themselves within the Agency garnering increasingly difficult assignments.

It was obvious to everyone around them that the tension between the two was not as antagonistic as they liked to portray. Strangely enough, they were partners almost nine months before they touched for the first time during a mission to break up a smuggling ring on Klom. As cliché as it sounds, sparks flew, and they realized in that moment what they had been ignoring the previous nine months, destiny.

The development of the human race over the centuries and across space had awoken in them strong psychic abilities. Among the most startling abilities to manifest was the ability to recognize one’s perfect mate. They wasted little time after making it off of Klom. They were married and bonded three months later, much to her younger brother’s consternation. He wanted Jack; but despite his roguish demeanor, he did love his sister, and so he decided to ignore his desire for his new brother-in-law for her sake.

They had been married just over three years when it happened. The couple, along with her brother and his partner, deployed to Karn to eliminate a heavily armed contingent of tech traders. Should the technology the were dealing have fallen into the wrong hands, it would have proven disasterous for the timeline.

Her brother's partner was killed and they were pinned down, their escape route back to the ship almost completely blocked except for one small bottleneck section. It was suicide, but they had no choice. Her brother provided cover fire for his sister and her husband as they made a run for the ship. Once they were clear of the bottleneck, they tried to cover John as he ducked and shuffled closer to them.

He was feet away when the world seemed to explode around them, debry flew in all directions, blowing him off his feet and separating him from the other two. Jack was trapped under a steel gurder and his wife tried to free him, but was impaired by her visibly dislocated shoulder. They all struggled to free themselves and make for the ship, but just as Jack was close to being able to slip from beneath the gurder, a creature he had seen many times in his nightmares grabbed his wife and knocked her unconscious. He and John both screamed after them impotently, by the time they freed themselves the creatures’ ship had taken off to a place Jack had been searching for in one way or another since he was eleven years old.

While awaiting her decision, the Doctor observed the wife of Jack Harkness. She wasn’t what he was expecting, but then he should have known better than to expect anything. Anyone mated to Jack Harkness had to be a little unexpected. She was thin, too thin really, but that was to be expected after so many years in captivity. Her hair was long and dark, reaching more than halfway down her back even though it was pulled up on the back of her head. She was relatively clean, the Marwolaethian, while complete sadists, were sticklers for cleanliness. The one positive of her captivity it would seem. Her skin was pale and unblemished. Her face had high cheekbones and the most perfect mouth he had seen in all the galaxies. And her eyes, oh those eyes, as deep brown as his own, and filled with so much pain, too much pain for one so young. Overall she really was rather striking, even in her current state, but there was something off about her, something unsettling. Fifty years in this place, how had she survived?

Wait a minute-she didn’t look a day over 30!

As the Doctor observed her she did the same to him. She stared into those ancient eyes, so full of wonder and pain and heartache. What she said was true, she really didn’t have much to lose. He couldn’t kill her and she’d already endured years of torture so that would be nothing new. But maybe he was telling the truth. Maybe this was her chance, her chance to find Ianto and . . . and Jack. He could be her ticket out of this hell.

“Alright Doctor, I think it’s time we left, the guards should be around shortly for their evening play time.”

The Doctor flinched at her casual mention of torture. Just what had they done to her over all those years?

“Yes, good idea.” He said, hopping up from the floor and reaching to help her to her feet. She leaned against him heavily, for the first time showing the weakness caused by so many years in chains.

“I would apologize for trying to kill you, but now that I know who you are I really don’t feel the need. Do you Doctor?”

He laughed, “Well, no I suppose not. I can’t say that it was unwarranted. Rather uncomfortable, but not unwarranted.”

The Doctor rubbed his neck where she had held him. They made their way into the TARDIS and the Doctor helped her to the couch in the control room, looking at her expectantly.

“Well!” He said, once again resuming his bouncing.

“Well what?” She asked, he really was very peculiar.

“What do you think?”

“Of what?” She asked in confusion.

“Of her! The TARDIS.”

“What’s a TARDIS?”

“This is a TARDIS. Stands for ‘Time and Relative Dimension In Space.’ Any initial reactions to share, decor, lighting, SIZE maybe?”

“Sounds a bit ostentatious, you really are friends with Jack aren’t you?”

“Humph! I am nothing like Jack!”

He flopped down in a chair at what she assumed was the control panel.

“Actually you are a bit, the flamboyancy anyway. Let’s see . . .”

She tried to remember the times she had seen what she now knew to be the inside of this ship through Jack’s eyes.

What was it everyone always said? Oh yes!

“Right. It’s bigger on the inside.” She deadpanned.

“Exactly! Now, let me set the coordinates and then we can let the TARDIS take a look at you.”

“What do you mean? I’m fine here.”

She curled up defensively into the corner of the couch.

“Oh nothing bad, no, not at all. The TARDIS here, she can scan you and even help along your healing a little while we’re in transit. We’ll take the long way, give you a chance to rest and recuperate before we arrive.”

“Alright, can’t refuse the chance at a little R & R, it’s been ever so long since I had a vacation. How long will it take us to get there?”

“Oh a few days, not too long mind you. Should give us a chance to get to know each other a bit.” He said with a grin.

“Sorry Doc, married and all that. Wouldn’t mind under other circumstances but you caught me several decades too late.”

“Oh no, you’re just like him!”

The tragic look on his faced caused her to laugh, the sound strange to her ears. She couldn’t remember the last time she had laughed.

“Not quite Doc, I, unlike my husband apparently, am all talk. I made a vow, and I intend to honor it, even if I do it alone.”

He looked at her sadly.

“How do you know that? Was Jack like that before you were captured?”

“Before? No, no he never looked at anyone else. He was a flirt mind you, but it was all show, neither one of us ever took it seriously. No Doctor, if there was ever a faithful and devoted husband it was my Jack. Times seem to have changed though, many times over from what I’ve seen.”

“Seen? What do you mean by that?” He asked as he took the seat next to her.

She felt the ship lift-off.

“Shouldn’t you be driving this thing?”

“Ach, auto-pilot! Really it’s more just asking her to take us where we need to go. She seems to be in the mood to cooperate. She likes you I think, and she loves Jack and still feels a little guilty for trying to throw him off in the vortex.”

The lights of the TARDIS dimmed momentarily.

“Alright. Before I tell you how I know about my husband’s exploits I’d like to know more about you. You’re a Time Lord correct?”

“Yes, I am. Last of the Time Lords of Gallifrey. Traveling around time and space, searching for adventure!” He grinned widely.

“Somehow I doubt that its adventure that always finds you!”

The Doctor laughed, “You would be correct. I have an unfortunate habit of landing in the middle of difficult situations. Makes vacationing a bit taxing to be honest.”

“Alright Doctor. How much do you know about the link between bondmates in humanoids of the 51st century?”

“A bit.” He replied, stroking his chin as he thought. “They only happen in a few, well true bondings that is, only occur for about a quarter of the population. It’s a kind of telepathy that reaches across time and space. Rather fascinating really. Although I’m still not sure what has happened to your link with Jack. I have always known bond-links to be unbreakable.”

“They are. My link to Jack still exists, he just can’t feel it.”

“But how is that possible? Wait, you said he can’t feel it. You can though?”

“Yes; and it’s not just a telepathic link, it’s also empathic physically and emotionally, and we are able to see through the other’s eyes.”

“So - all the years that he thought you were dead, all the things he’s done to try to escape the pain, you saw those? You heard his thoughts? You felt his pains as he suffered and died time and again?”

“Yes to all of the above.” She said with a sigh, leaning further into the welcome comfort of the couch.

“Damn. Pardon me, but, how have you endured? How did this even happen?”

“The Marwolaethians, after they attacked us all those years ago I was brought here. Initially I was left alone, but then they figured out some way to manipulate the link and have used it against me ever since. I don’t know how they do it, but it’s very effective believe me. As for how I’ve endured . . . well it hasn’t been easy I can tell you that. There have been times when I did give up, but then I discovered that there was no relief to be found in death. Oh they enjoyed that! It’s much more fun apparently when you can torture someone to death and they just keep coming back. But then you’ve seen that first hand haven’t you Doctor?" She queried.

He looked shocked.

I shouldn’t be enjoying this so much! I have been a little hard-up for amusement recently though. He is rather fun to wind up. It seems like he’s not used to being in the dark about much of anything. Here we go . . . shock, denial, more shock, and hello apoplexy! 3-2-1!

“You what?” He exploded.

“I-can’t-die.”

“But-but, how is that even possible?”

“You tell me Time Lord, oh mighty master of the vortex. All I know is that whatever happened to Jack also transferred to me via our link. At least I’m pretty sure that’s how it happened.”

“This is horrible! Now there are two of you! Oh good goddess what next?”

“Well . . .”

“No absolutely not, I won’t allow it!”

“You don’t have any say in the matter Doctor!” She said fiercely, turning to face him fully on the couch.

“It will happen, it was foretold ages ago, long before even your time. He will be with us, and he will be like us through the eons of time. Didn’t fully realize what all that meant initially, it makes much more sense now.”

“How can this happen?” He moaned, leaning forward to rest his head in his hands. “This is wrong, so wrong. As if one of you isn’t bad enough there are two. And now you tell me there will soon be another! Cripes, I don’t think I can take much more of this!”

“You?” She roared weakly. “What about us? Do you think we wanted this? This never-ending life that has been filled with so much suffering and death. Trust me Doctor, if we could die, we would do so gladly.”

She panted from the exertion. He looked at her, shocked at her outburst.

“Well, yes, yes of course. I apologize. It’s just quite a lot to take in you see.”

“Yeah, well try living it Doc and then get back to me on that.”

“This is- well, I don’t even know what this is. I-”

He paused, lost in thought. She waited for him to emerge from his woolgathering.

“Well, nevermind that now. Let’s let the old girl take a look at you and see what we can do to get you fixed up before we take you to your family. Just lay back and relax, she’ll take care of everything.”

Hello Mrs. Harkness. I’m pleased to finally meet you, I’ve heard about you in Jack’s thoughts many times. Please allow me to help you, you have a long journey to full recovery ahead of you and I would like to make it a little shorter for you.

“Thank you. Forgive me if I’m not up for any more conversation, but you can call me Siani. Yes, that will be my new name, Siani.”

Rest then Siani, you are safe here. I will take you to Jack as soon as you are ready.

Siani fell into her first real, restful sleep in decades, lulled by the quiet song of the TARDIS. As she slept, she drifted to their place, the place she and Ianto shared hoping he would be there.

AN - Siani is pronounced SHAN-ee, with a short A. Ianto, Jack and Siani all mean the same thing, God is gracious!

Chapter Text

Chapter 2 - Not So Batty After All

Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008, Ianto Jones' Flat

Ianto dropped heavily onto his bed. It had been a long few days at Torchwood. He snorted, who was he kidding, they were always long days at Torchwood. He continued to lie there, thinking over the weeks since Jack's return. He was feeling such a maelstrom of emotions. Ecstatic would come close to what he felt most of the time. Jack had returned, which in and of itself was fantastic, but add to that the bonus of no longer having to answer to Gwen made his return even sweeter. And Jack seemed at times to really want to spend time with him, not just a quick shag in between rift alerts. It caused him to hope, and therein lay the problem. He had hopes for them before Jack left, hopes that Jack dashed at every turn. He would be tender one moment and the next he would make Ianto feel like a rent-boy hired merely to temporarily slake his lust.

Things were a little better now, although Ianto could see that whatever had happened to Jack while he was away had taken a heavy toll on his immortal lover. Jack had always had an air of sadness underneath his gregarious exterior, as if he was in a constant state of mourning. Sometimes he would watch Jack when he thought no one was looking and it convinced him that whatever caused this sadness was something that Jack would probably never share. Since he came back the pain showed more readily in his eyes. Well, he couldn't force Jack to open up to him, that would have the opposite effect, although Gwen still seemed to think that she could get Jack to share his most intimate thoughts with her, and her alone of course.

Ianto sighed, now if only he could convince himself to believe that Jack really didn't want Gwen as he said. That was difficult, especially when he continued to allow her to get away with virtually anything, much more than any of the rest of them that's for sure. Well, Ianto thought, can't do anything about it now, no use wasting time thinking about Gwen bloody Cooper.

I might as well enjoy this rare chance to have a quiet night while it lasts. I wonder if I'll dream of her again. Ianto thought guiltily. Its not as though I've done anything wrong, I can't control what I dream. I just wish I understood why I've dreamed of her for so many years and why she seems so real at times.

Shaking his head to dispel the negative thoughts, Ianto settled deeper beneath his bedding and slowly drifted to sleep. All the while hoping that tomorrow might surprise him by bringing something good for a change.


 Ianto's Dream

This time was different. He wasn't in a dark cold place like normal and that startled him.

Since the first time she came to him in his dreams it was always the same, dark, cold and decidedly lonely. He looked around, not able to see many details, just her sitting on a small leather couch waiting for him. He could really see her clearly for the first time, illuminated by the soft glow surrounding them.

She's bloody gorgeous. He blushed at his thoughts.

"Hello Ianto. How was your day?"

He laughed softly. It was always the same with them. It was a spark of normality and domesticity in his abnormal life.

"It was alright I suppose, as days in Torchwood go anyway." He sighed as he sat down next to her on the sofa, gently taking her hand.

"What happened?"

Ianto paused for a moment. "He died again today. I know it's silly to get so upset over it, he comes back; but I can't help fearing that one day he won't wake up. And it angers me how the others just seem to take it in stride. 'Oh, Jack's dead again. Well, no worries. What's for dinner Ianto?' Even Gwen for all her mooning, treats his suffering like it's of no concern. It just makes me so angry."

"Oh Yan. You have to stop doing this to yourself. I know it hurts to see Jack suffer, trust me I do understand. But you need to trust that it's going to be okay, he'll come back to you. Just be there for him. Knowing you will be there to hold him when he awakes is probably a great comfort to Jack. As for the cow, just ignore her. She's not worth it."

Ianto caressed her hand with both of his and grinned. "How do you always know what to say to make me feel better?"

"It's a gift. I'm considering doing a daytime talk show. Sage Advice for the Weird in Your Life. What do you think?"

Ianto laughed and placed his arm around her, pulling her into his chest. "Brilliant. Just what this world needs. 'Oi, I walked in on my girlfriend shagging a purple alien! Now she says she's up the duff. Do I stick around in case it's mine?'"

She giggled. "You see, it could work!"

She snuggled closer to him enjoying the feel of his chest pressed against her side, even if it only was in their minds.

As they held each other she said, "I've missed you recently. You haven't been sleeping well. Is there anything else going on that you want to talk about?"

"Not really, it's just more of the same, nothing new. I've missed you as well. I must admit that I feel a little guilty for being so eager to fall asleep these days. I'm pretty sure Jack has noticed. He hasn't said anything of course, but I still feel like I'm cheating on him in some way." Ianto told her sadly.

She sat up and turned to face him. "Ianto, please listen to me. You're not doing anything wrong. What we share is not a threat to your relationship with Jack, quite the contrary really."

He frowned at this and she hurried to continue before he could question her. "I need to tell you something, and I need you to trust me. Can you do that Yan?"

He smiled at her, "I'm pretty sure I can manage. You are a creation of my own mind after all."

"Yeah, about that...actually Yan, I'm not. I'm very much real, and I'll be able to prove it to you soon."

"What do you mean?" He asked warily.

She smiled at him softly, taking both of his hands in hers. "I am real Ianto. I haven't been free to come to you before now, but I'll see you very soon. I need you to know that I love you, and that everything that you will realize soon does not change that. I mean you no harm, you know that."

"How-" He stood and began to pace."You'll see me soon? You mean really see me, face to face?"

"Yes, I mean really see you, touch you, hold you. All of it."

"But - when, where? I mean - "

"Ianto," she stood, reaching up and cupping his face with her hands. "We don't have much time left, it's almost time for you to wake. Just remember this: don't pull away from me or Jack. Our time has come Ianto, and what happens next is up to you."

"What is up to me?" He asked softly as he held her waist.

"Everything. Where we go from here, the rest of our lives, everything. I have to go now Yan."

"No, not yet! I need to know -"

"Yan please." She interrupted. "Remember I love you and remember my name."

"You've never told me your name. What is it?"

"Siani. It's Siani and I will see you very soon my love." She kissed him hard, holding him to her. "Goodbye for now."

"No!" Ianto yelled, reaching out to grab her as she disappeared.

Ianto woke abruptly, sitting straight up in his bed as his alarm began to sound. He looked around. He was in his flat and he was alone. He turned to sit on the side of the bed, placing his head in his hands and rubbing his eyes.

"What was that?"

Realizing he was talking to himself, he walked to the bathroom to prepare for the day. His thoughts returned to his dream. It seemed so real. She seemed so real.

Maybe I am finally going crazy. Shouldn't be surprising really. Could someone or something be influencing my thoughts again? Maybe I should talk to Jack about this after all.

He stepped back into his room after showering, glancing at the clock. "Shit!"

He was going to be late, he was never late! He hurriedly dressed in his favorite pinstripe suit, claret shirt and black tie before running out the door.

Chapter Text

Chapter 3 – Paperwork and Pariahs

Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008, Torchwood

Ianto was late, and Ianto was never late. Jack checked the time again, fifteen minutes late, he was starting to worry.

Maybe I should call, make sure everything is okay. It isn't like Ianto to be late, and he hasn't called. I wonder if he's sick, no he would have called. Unless he can't call. Something must have happened. Yep, definitely calling.

Just as he picked up the phone the alarm sounded on the cogwheel door and Ianto rushed through.

"So sorry I'm late, sir." Ianto gasped, clearly winded.

"Are you alright? What did you do, run from your flat?" Jack asked incredulously as he quickly walked over and placed his hand on Ianto's shoulder.

"Yeah." Ianto replied after taking a moment to catch his breath. "I knew with traffic it would take even longer if I tried to drive. Seemed logical at the time." He replied dryly.

Jack grinned. "Well Jones Ianto Jones, what am I going to do with you? Surely this calls for some kind of punishment." He winked at the younger man, pulling him into his arms.

Ianto looked at Jack very with a stoic expression. "Whatever you think is necessary sir. You are the boss after all."

"Hmm, I love it when you call me sir. Maybe I should-"

Jack's proposal was interrupted when the alarm sounded again, this time as Tosh came through the doorway.

"Morning!" She said, making her way to her desk.

"Morning Tosh." Said a blushing Ianto as he quickly moved from Jack's embrace. "I'll just get the coffee made."

He hurried off to the kitchen, cursing his flushed cheeks.

Tosh smirked, knowing she had interrupted the two lovers.

"Good morning lovely Toshiko!" Jack replied as he grinned at Ianto's retreating form. He stared, with eyes glazed over for a few moments.

"Enjoying the view Jack?" Tosh grinned.

"Well, it is quite a view don't you think?"

"Oh absolutely! Definitely one of the highlights of my day!"

Jack gaped at her, "Toshiko, you naughty girl. Have you been eyeing up my Ianto?"

"Yep." She replied cheekily. "Best arse in Cardiff I say."

"Well I can't argue with that." Jack laughed. "Ianto does have the most fantastic ass!" He said just as Ianto walked back into the main hub with their coffees.

"And lovely. Are you two really that hard up for things to talk about?" Ianto quipped as he handed them their morning caffeine injection.

"Pfffft" Jack choked on his coffee, laughing and winking at Ianto. "Oh Yan, I love it when you talk dirty! I think you know exactly what state I'm in, but it has nothing to do with discussion topics!"

Ianto rolled his eyes.

"And that's where I make my escape." Tosh said as she sat down at her station, booting up the computers.

"Must you really say such things in front of Tosh sir; she'll think you're some kind of deviant." Ianto smirked as he walked toward Jack after taking Owen and Gwen's coffees to their desks.

"Too late!" The tech sing-songed in reply.

"Hey!" Jack said pouting. "Tosh is already aware, and I happen to know you like it!" Jack pulled Ianto to him, grasping him by the rear. "Yep Tosh, you are so right. Definitely the best arse in Cardiff!"

"That is definitely harassment sir." Ianto smirked at the Captain as he brought his hands up to rest on his shoulders.

"Oh I really do love it when you call me sir." Jack leered at Ianto, kissing him hard just as the alarm rang again causing the lovers to step apart. They did try to keep it professional during working hours. Gwen entered the hub and frowned at the two men who were standing far too close in her opinion.

"Morning everyone. Ianto can you get me a coffee?"

"Already on your desk." He replied politely.

"Probably cold." She muttered. "Jack how was it last night? Why didn't you call me, was everything quiet?"

Tosh and Ianto exchanged a glance and Tosh rolled her eyes.

"I'll just head down to the archives. Still haven't finished with 1911 yet." Ianto said, quickly walking away.

Jack frowned as he watched Ianto leave.

"There were a few Weevils out for a stroll around two, but I handled it. No need to call anyone else." He hadn't missed the way Gwen worded that question and the way Ianto reacted. Jack sighed.

At first Gwen's hero worship had been fun for Jack; it helped to stroke his ego a bit to be the dashing hero. He really didn't understand her attitude recently. He never expressed a romantic interest in her and she was engaged to Rhys. Sure he flirted, but he flirted with everyone. Hell, he flirted with Janet! He was obviously with Ianto and excessively happy with him, and he wasn't going to lose him over Gwen Cooper. He had already screwed up enough with Ianto before his trip with the Doctor and was still working to repair the damage.

"You should have called; I would have come to help." Gwen chastised.

"No, everyone needed a night off. Besides didn't you and Rhys have plans?"

"Oh that, nothing too important. I would have come."

"Wasn't it your anniversary?" Tosh asked, trying her best to appear innocent.

Gwen was really pissing her off lately. Couldn't she see that Jack and Ianto were together, happily together? They hadn't exactly been subtle about their relationship since Jack's return, but some people only saw what they wanted to see apparently.

"Well - "Gwen started to retort.

"Anyway," Jack interrupted just as Owen walked through the door, immediately heading for his desk and the coffee he knew would be waiting. "The paperwork seems to be piling up again, so let's spend this morning on catch-up while we have a quiet moment before Ianto has my head. Tosh, how long until the next Rift spike?"

"Should be a quiet morning. There's nothing predicted until around two this afternoon, and it looks to be fairly small."

"Right, let's get to work kiddies. Tosh, I know you're mostly caught up. When you're done can you spend some time on that tracking program we discussed?"

"Sure, I'll get right on it."

"Alright, that's that." Jack whistled as he walked back up to his office, closing the door. Gwen frowned at his back wondering why he seemed so content lately. Her gaze didn't go unnoticed by her two coworkers, who caught each others eye. This could become a very big problem, very soon.

"Ianto?" Jack's voice sounded through the comms.

"Yes sir?" Ianto was currently entrenched in files from the early 1900s, deep within the recesses of the archives. He had finished with 1911 prior to ordering lunch for the team and was now well into 1910. Now at 5:30 he was ready for a break, and Jack's exasperated tone seemed like just the excuse he needed.

"Can you work some coffee magic please? We should be done soon but I know I could use the pick-me-up."

"Of course sir, I'll be right up." Ianto eagerly marked his place and secured the archives for the night. Hopefully Jack would send the others home very soon and they would have time for dinner and whatever else the night might bring.

He was pleased to find that everyone appeared hard at work when he made it to the main area of the hub. Tosh didn't surprise him, she was always working, and normally on at least two or three things at once. Owen stared intently at his monitor and seemed to be working on his backlog, although it could be a computer game again, or porn. There was no telling with Owen.

Gwen was frowning at the foot high pile of files atop her desk. Ianto was pretty sure that the pile had gone down some since this morning, by an inch or two. He really didn't understand the issue she seemed to have with completing her paperwork in the allotted time, even Owen wasn't that bad. She had less work than any of the others on her busiest days. Then again, she seemed to think that staring at Jack in his office was part of her job description.

Ianto made his final coffee deliveries of the evening saving Jack's for last as usual. Jack was currently laying his head on his desk. He seemed to have completed all but a few of his backlogged files, which was a miracle considering he'd been on the phone with the PM and Unit for the greater part of the day. Ianto closed the office door behind him.

"Here you are sir." Ianto reached around Jack and placed his mug on one of the only clear spaces on the desk.

"You are a caffeine god, Yan! Argh, why do we have to talk to these idiots again? It's a complete waste of time." Jack complained, not lifting his head from the desk.

"Well sir, at least this PMs not as bad as Saxon." Jack instantly reacted to the name, flinching and breaking out in a sweat.

"Jack? What is it, are you okay?" Ianto turned Jack's chair to face him as he crouched in front of the unresponsive man, gently touching his face. "Jack, come on cariad what's wrong?"

Jack seemed to come back to himself, although he seemed very jittery.

"Yan?" He asked softly, his eyes roving over the Welshman's face as if not quite sure if he were really there or not.

"That's right cariad, I'm right here. Can you tell me what just happened?" Ianto stayed where he was, but reached out to take Jack's hands between his own. "I know something's wrong Jack. It's not what just happened either, you're not sleeping at all, and any time you try you wake up screaming. You're underweight and you're not eating. You're very clingy, not that I mind at all, but I can't help you Jack if you won't talk to me. So please, tell me what happened while you were away, maybe I can help."

"While I was - gone -" Jack started quietly. "I - I told you about the Doctor and I being on board the Valiant, but I didn't tell you how long we were there and - and what happened."

Seeing how affected Jack was by the subject Ianto said, "We don't have to talk about this now if you don't feel up to it Jack, and especially not here. I just need you to know that you can tell me whenever you're ready, I'll listen."

"No. No I need to tell you. I just - let me send the others home and we can go back to yours. I really don't want an audience." Jack stood shakily and made his way to the door of his office.

"Alright everyone, let's call it an early night. Go home. I don't expect to see any of you here before 9, baring the world ending, again." Jack said, plastering on his Captain persona.

"Jack, I can stay. Rhys isn't expecting me home until later anyway. You shouldn't have to stay here alone." Gwen piped up immediately.

"Gwen, go home to your fiancé. Yan and I are heading home." Gwen huffed a bit and Jack rubbed his bloodshot eyes. Owen immediately started to shut everything down, not wanting to miss out on the rare opportunity for a night off.

Does she really think no one notices the way she acts around Jack? Just because she's oblivious to anyone other than herself and Jack doesn't mean the rest of us are. Tosh thought.

"I've sent the rift-alert to my wrist strap, so have a good night everyone." By this time Ianto had helped Jack on with his coat and they headed down the stairs. Jack grabbed Ianto's hand, pulling him through the doorway, for once being the first ones to leave.

"What did he mean they were going home?" Gwen asked Tosh and Owen as they all made their way to the exit.

Tosh shook her head, laughing at Gwen's complete self-centeredness.

"You're kidding me right?" Owen said snarkily. He stopped in the tunnel leading out to the tourist office and looked at her incredulously. "Even you can't be that blind Cooper!"

Gwen gaped, who does he think he is, I'm Jack's second, he can't talk to me this way!

"You listen to me Owen Harper - "

"Oh, good god, leave it alone you two. Let's get out of here." Tosh interrupted, thankfully ending the argument for the moment as the three left the hub for the night.


Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008, Ianto Jones' Flat

Jack and Ianto made their way up the two flights of stairs to Ianto's flat. It wasn't too posh, but it was a nice building, good neighborhood, and not too far from the hub. Ianto liked it well enough, what little time he actually spent there.

His lease was up in a few weeks, so he would have to decide soon whether or not he wanted to stay. He had been contemplating whether or not to ask Jack if he would like to get a place together, but he didn't want to push his lover when he had so many more important things on his mind.

Ianto decided to hold off on ordering any food, even though he was starving. He had a feeling that what Jack was about to share was not something he wanted to hear while eating.

The two men silently made their way into the flat removed their shoes and coats in the entryway. They hadn't spoken since leaving the hub, both caught up in their own thoughts.

Ianto took Jack's hand and lead him to the couch. "Do you want some coffee or would tea suit?"

"Best be tea I think." Jack said as he leaned his head on the back on the sofa and closed his eyes.

"I'll be right back then. Do you want it plain or sweet and milky?"

"Sweet and milky please." Jack smiled toward Ianto.

Ianto set about filling the kettle and preparing a tray for the tea. He placed some of Jack's favorite biscuits on a plate to take out with him. Soon the water was boiling and he prepared the tea before taking the tray out to set on the coffee table.

"Thanks Yan." Jack said absently.

Once they both had their tea Ianto turned on the sofa, showing that he was ready to listen. Jack sighed and set his cup down after taking a few sips.

"We were there for a year. The longest year I've ever lived." Jack softly began as he stared unseeingly at the floor. "I saw things Yan, things that I can't make go away. They tortured me daily; they did things that I just can't talk about yet. I'm sorry."

Jack looked into Ianto's eyes apologetically. Ianto shook his head and shifted so that he could hold Jack as he continued.

"He seemed especially intent on breaking me. He killed you, all of you right in front of me. He saved you for last though. He was positively gleeful the day they captured you. You were the last though; you fought so hard, gave them a hell of a time trying to find you!" Jack said, his voice laced with pride. "He knew what it would do it me. He had invaded my mind so many times. I tried so hard to keep him out, to protect you, but he found out about us. It felt like part of me died with you that day.

After that I gave up caring what they did to me or how many times I died. The only thing I cared about was making sure that the Doctor's plan worked so that you would come back to me. Well that, and I wanted to kill him, to do to him exactly what he had done to you. The Doctor stopped me though, said it wasn't the solution. He even told that bastard that he forgave him! As if it were for him to forgive!" He said bitterly. "He sat there in a cage while I was tortured and killed daily for a whole year, while they tortured and murdered you in front of me, and he forgave him! I wish I understood. Part of me wishes I could do the same, just move on, but I will never forgive that bastard for what he did to you." By the time he finished speaking, well yelling by that point, tears streamed from his eyes to match those trailing down Ianto's face.

"Oh Cariad, I'm so sorry." Ianto murmured softly into Jack's ear as he cradled him. They sat like that for some time, tears falling, drawing comfort from the others presence.

After some time Jack sat up, extracting himself from Ianto's embrace and wiping his eyes before taking his lover's hand.

"Yan, I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner, I just - it was still too fresh. And I was just so happy to have you back that I wanted to forget it ever happened and pretend it was all okay."

"I understand Jack. I'm not upset. I can't imagine what all you endured. But Jack, you survived. You survived and you came back, that's what is most important. All I'm worried about now is helping you get better. You're going to eat. You're going to come home with me and sleep. I'll be here when the nightmares come, and whenever you need to talk, I'll listen." Ianto said firmly as he held Jack's gaze.

"I don't deserve you Yan." Jack smiled at him.

Ianto shook his head sadly. "It's nothing more than what you did for me Jack. To be honest, I wasn't sure if you were coming back at all. After what we did, what I did, I was sure you had left for good; off with the Doctor like you always wanted."

"Yan, that's all in the past. I forgave you a long time ago." He paused and looked intently at Ianto.

"The Doctor asked me to stay, to travel with him again." He felt Ianto tense. "But I told him that this is where I belong. That this is where I'm going to stay."

Ianto's eyes snapped to his, closing the short distance between them he crushed their lips together in a bruising kiss. Both trying to say with that kiss what neither had the courage to say aloud. Tongues battled and hands roamed, drawing comfort and reassurance from one another.

After several minutes they broke apart, their breathing ragged and their faces flushed. Jack smiled at the younger man.

"Can we go to bed now Yan? I'm knackered."

"But you haven't eaten anything! You need to eat Jack." Ianto said insistently.

"I know, and I promise I'll eat in the morning. I just don't think I can stomach anything right now."

Ianto reluctantly nodded, having lost his appetite as well. He lead Jack up the stairs and the two men prepared for bed. They were too drained to do anything more than sleep.

As they settled beneath the duvet of Ianto's large, comfy bed, Jack said sleepily, "I promise Yan, no more secrets between us. No more secrets."

Ianto glanced at his lover guiltily, finally remembering that he had resolved to share his dreams of Siani with Jack.

"Alright, no more secrets; Jack I need to tell you -" His confession was cut off with a soft snore.

Jack only snored when he was exhausted. Ianto smiled affectionately and kissed Jack's lips as he too settled further into the bed and Jack's embrace.

Tomorrow, I'll tell him tomorrow.

Chapter Text

Chapter 4 - Reunion and Combustion

Ianto's Dream

"Hello Yan."

"Siani." Ianto acknowledged the woman who was once again seated on the small leather couch with a nod and a slight smile.

"You look troubled; he's finally told you then?"

Ianto sat on the arm of the couch furthest from her, which she frowned at but made no comment.

"You mean about Saxon and what they did to him aboard the Valiant?" Siani nodded her head briefly. "Yes he told me. He freaked out today when I made an offhand remark about Saxon. We came home and he told me how they tortured and killed him repeatedly, then did the same to me and the rest of the team in front of him."

Ianto shook his head as if trying to remove the thoughts.

"I wish I knew what it was that they did to him that has traumatized him so much. Not that what he told me wasn't absolutely horrible, but I know he's been tortured before. He even mentioned once that they were trained to resist torture in the Time Agency. So what could they have done that is so bad that it would cause him this much trauma?"

"It was what they did to you, Yan." She said gently.

"What?" He said, looking at her directly for the first time since she appeared.

"He can and did resist everything they threw at his mind and body until they caught you. When they hurt you that was what finally broke him."

"But why me? What about the rest of the team? What about -"

"Ianto Jones, if you say that cow's name I swear I will slap you!" She snapped at him. "I'm sorry."

More gently she asked, "Please come and sit next to me Yan, the way you always do."

He did so somewhat reluctantly, not quite sure how to interact with her after their last encounter.

"I know that Jack has hurt you with his boneheaded behavior towards Cooper in the past. But he does not care for her in the way that you think he does. He was attracted to her initially and believed that her tenacity and sympathy would be beneficial to the team. He's had his eyes opened a bit and most of that has changed, and he has never felt for her even a fraction of what he feels for you." Siani told him earnestly as she tentatively caressed his hand, not sure if he would be receptive to the gesture.

Ianto considered her for a moment before turning his hand over to take hers. "How do you know all of this? If you are actually real as you claim to be, how do you know what Jack's feelings are towards Gwen, or me for that matter?"

She smiled at him, "Let's just say that where Jack Harkness is concerned, I have some very unique insight."

Ianto frowned at her evasive response. Realizing that he probably wouldn't get any more of an answer if he pressed, he changed the topic. "I think what bothers me the most out of all that Jack had to endure that year, is the behavior of the Doctor. How could he treat Jack like that after everything he went through, after all that he suffered?"

Ianto stood up and began to pace in front of the couch, running his hand through his hair in frustration. Despite the grave atmosphere, Siani couldn't help but grin at the endearingly familiar gesture.

"He forgave Saxon as if everything he put Jack through was of no consequence! I know Jack has idolized him, hell, I think at times he even fancied himself in love with him; but I don't see how someone who could treat a friend's suffering so flippantly could be so fantastic. All I know is he had better not show his face any time soon, I may have to relieve him of one of his regenerations."

He really is so sexy when he's worked up like this, mmm. No, focus on the words, not the ass!

Giving herself a mental shake, Siani replied.

"Well things are about to get very interesting then! The Doctor has been allowed too much slack when it comes to his treatment of others. Maybe it's time for a little comeuppance!" Siani grinned conspiratorially and the lights around them flickered.

Ianto looked around curiously as she continued, and he saw that their surroundings were becoming a little clearer./p>

"Ha!" Siani exclaimed while looking across the room. "I see you agree then! Well, there's no arguing it then if she's on our side. Once I'm there we'll have to see about arranging a little wake-up call for the crink. It's long overdue I'd wager."

"Wait, what is this place? We can't be where I think we are...Siani tell me I've lost it and we're not on the TARDIS!" Ianto said coming back to stand in front of her.

She started to stand, but wobbled a bit. Ianto quickly reached out to steady her, not having thought too much about how she leaned on him when she stood in his last dream.

He was about to ask her about it when she told him, "Don't worry about that now Yan, you need to wake up, Jack needs you." She kissed him gently. "I'll see you later today."

She grinned at his confused face.

"Today?" He asked even as she faded from view and he returned to wakefulness.

The haze of his dreams was brushed aside as soon as he opened his eyes by the distress of his lover next to him. Jack thrashed beneath the covers and cried out for him.

"Ianto! No, not him! Not him too, please!"

Ianto swiftly moved to extract Jack from the covers and shook him trying to wake him from the nightmare. "Come on Jack, wake up. Come back to me cariad, I'm right here. I'm safe, we're both safe. You're home Jack and you're safe, open your eyes now."

Slowly Jack's struggling abated and he woke to see Ianto's concerned face above him.

"There you are, see I'm right here Jack, I'm okay." Ianto spoke to him gently, as he ran his hand through Jack's sweat-dampened hair.

Jack didn't bother to reply, he just grabbed Ianto by the neck and pulled him roughly to him. His kisses were frantic and he tore at their clothes, desperate to feel Ianto's warm body against his own. He was on fire, white hot and raging; everywhere he touched felt alight. Ianto understood his need and drew him in, reveling in the raw hunger Jack exhibited.

Their coupling was frenzied and intense. Jack begged for Ianto to fill him, he wanted him to make him forget everything but the two of them.

It didn't take long for them both to reach their climax. They touched each other with a knowledge born from hours of previous intimate explorations, bringing each other quickly to the heights of pleasure. Afterwards, they lay tangled together, panting from their exertions.

"Are you alright?" Ianto asked his lover as he turned to face him in the bed.

Jack didn't answer at first; he merely nodded his head and pulled Ianto into his arms.

Several minutes later he replied, "I will be. Just - let me hold you a bit. Okay?"

"Of course Jack. Whatever you need, you know that." Ianto replied, laying his head on Jack's chest.

As they laid there in the quiet of the morning Ianto's heart ached for Jack and all that he had suffered; and though he tried to push it down, there was still a part of him that was reassured by the fact that Jack seemed disturbed by the fact of losing him.

Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008, Torchwood

This day was just dragging and it was only half nine.

Jack sighed as he leaned back in his office chair. Last night and this morning had been difficult, but so worth it. He actually managed to sleep most of the night with Ianto beside him. Jack had needed him so much upon waking from his nightmare. Well, it was a memory really, one he relived constantly for over a hundred years. It was the worst day of his life on constant replay. Only this time it had changed. Not only had those creatures taken his beautiful wife as he lay trapped, but this time they had taken Ianto as well. The two most precious people in his life ripped from his grasp and there was nothing he could do to stop it. Waking up to Ianto holding him had been a lifeline; he wasn't sure how he would have reacted had he been alone.

He grinned, thinking of his Welshman. It was the right decision to tell him. Not only did Jack feel like Atlas relieved of his burden, but he could see that Ianto seemed relieved as well. He had been so caught up in his own issues that he hadn't noticed, to his shame, how much it was affecting the younger man. He wondered, for the thousandth time, if he should tell Ianto about her, his wife, his soulmate. He wanted to tell him, to explain why he held so much of himself back. Jack had never loved another even close to how he still loved her, except for Ianto; and that terrified him.

Guilt was another reason he hesitated. He felt like he was betraying her by caring for Ianto as he did. Oh he felt guilty over the others too, but he had always justified them as an escape, as ways to try to numb the pain. His head ached every time he thought of them, the memories fuzzy and disjointed. He didn't love them, so it wasn't the same. But Yan, what he felt for him confused Jack because it was so close to what he still felt for his wife and that just wasn't possible. How could he tell any of this to Ianto when he was so confused about it himself?

I really don't deserve him. Jack thought as he stood up and watched Ianto moving around the hub, tidying up. He frowned, he thought that they had moved past this. Ianto wasn't the team's butler. He was so much more than that.

Unbeknown to his team, Jack had reviewed all of the footage and reports from his absence during his many lonely and sleepless nights since his return. It appeared that Gwen had seemed to think she was in charge, but it was obvious who really ran the hub while he was gone.

Ianto handled all contact with the Government, UNIT, and the Crown, not to mention liaising with the police (which was Gwen's responsibility). He took care of overseeing the day-to-day operations and completed all the paperwork, made sure the kits and the SUV were always stocked, and went into the field. He had also, evidently, returned to picking up after everyone. Jack was upset that Ianto had to take on such a huge burden, and he kicked himself yet again for chasing after the Doctor to find a cure, only to leave his boy to the wolves. Despite his anger and guilt, Jack couldn't help but also feel a sense of pride in Ianto; he was quite simply, unparalleled.

Owen seemed to take point on most missions, which also made Jack proud. He had really stepped up for the team during Jack's absence and had managed to keep them all safe. Tosh had blossomed as well; not only did she continue in her technical genius, she helped Ianto as much as possible and really came into her own in the field. On the other hand, Gwen, it seemed, thought it her place to assume command, and by that she meant to order everyone else around.

Jack sighed again; he really didn't know what he was going to do about her. Despite what everyone thought, not that he could blame them, he had hired her because he thought she would be an asset to the team. He thought all that heart would help the rest remember what it is that they are working to protect. Yes, he had been easier on her than the others, but he thought that she needed the extra leeway to learn. She didn't possess the training and the skills of the other three, but he initially thought that she showed promise. Unfortunately she has proven to be a very divisive presence rather than an inspirational one.

And she continued to be apparently, if the storm brewing in the main hub was any indication. Jack opened his office door and made his way downstairs and into the fray. Owen and Gwen were facing off, Tosh was hovering closely nearby, ready to step in if need be. Ianto was standing back, his face impassive, but Jack could just make out the tick beneath his left eye indicating his irritation.

"You've got some bloody nerve Cooper!" Owen yelled at Gwen.

"The hell I do Owen! I don't know what your problem is but you better learn to start taking orders!" Gwen yelled back.

"Did I miss something?" Jack asked as he leaned back against the stairs, arms crossed and appearing very calm. Owen and Gwen both started at his interruption.

Ah oh! Thought Ianto, smirking inwardly. This should be good! Jack looks pissed! I just wonder if he will finally wise up to Gwen's tricks or if he'll fall for it as usual.

"Well?" Jack prompted. "Is somebody going to explain what the domestic is all about?"

Owen opened his mouth to speak but Gwen jumped in first.

"Jack! You have to do something about this. He is being completely unreasonable and insubordinate!"

"How so?" Jack queried with a raised eyebrow.

"I ordered him - "

"Now that's the problem Cooper!" Owen interjected. "Where the hell do you get off ordering me to do anything, let alone something to do with my records? I am the Chief Medical Officer here as well as your senior! My records are organized exactly the way they should be according to the Torchwood archival system, which you would know if you had bothered to read the brief from Ianto."

Jack watched the two as they bickered. He still couldn't understand why they ever slept together, and judging from Owen's expression he wondered the same thing.

Gwen looked to Jack, expecting him to reprimand Owen. When he did not, she continued, apparently Jack wanted to test her leadership abilities.

"I am Jack's second, Owen! So I have every bloody right!" Gwen crossed her arms and took a step closer to Jack. Owen rolled his eyes and looked at Jack, waiting for him to say something and not at all sure what it would be.

If Jack chose to side with Gwen on this one he might very well be down to a team of two.

No way even Tea-boy is going to put up with this any longer. Owen thought.

By this point Jack had heard enough, and apparently the time to deal with Gwen's misconception was upon him. He had hoped to be able to settle this in a more diplomatic manner and in private, but as usual Gwen made that impossible.

Not bothering to move ,Jack said, "Since when?"

Gwen was so intent upon glaring at Owen, just knowing that Jack was about to hand him his ass, that his question didn't immediately register.

"What?" She asked.

Tosh was grinning, not even bothering to try to hide it. Ianto was trying desperately to keep his mask in place. Owen just looked flummoxed; and Gwen, well Gwen was apparently trying to catch flies.

"I asked," said Jack, as he straightened and placed his hands on his hips. "Since when have you been my second?"

"Jack, you know that I ran the hub while you were gone. You even commented on how good everything looked when you got back!"

"And how much of that was your doing Gwen?"

"Pardon? I was in charge Jack, that's why everything ran so smoothly."

Tosh laughed loudly at this point, causing Ianto to momentarily lose his composure, and Owen scoffed.

"You're joking aren't you Gwen?" Tosh said still laughing. "You didn't have a damn thing to do with keeping things running while Jack was gone. Contrary to what you believe, running your mouth isn't the same as getting the job done. If any one of us can be credited with running this place it's Ianto, not you!"

Gwen glared at Tosh and said condescendingly, "Tosh, I know that you're jealous of me and that you feel that you need to make Ianto feel better about himself, poor lamb but -"

"Alright, I've heard enough." Jack interrupted as he saw Ianto finally lose control and moved to intercept him. If he didn't stop this Ianto might actually do something drastic, something that might involve getting blood on his suit, and Jack really loved that suit.

"Gwen you are operating under a serious misconception. Just because you were hired after we lost Susie does not mean that you automatically assumed her position. You are not and never have been my second in command, and furthermore, I know exactly how things ran while I was gone."

"Jack! How can you say that? You know you rely on me! You hired me to replace Susie, and she was your second. I don't know what kind of lies Ianto has told you in between shags but they are not true."

Jack felt Ianto tense in his grasp, saw Owen wince, and if he wasn't mistaken, it sounded as if Tosh had growled. Enough was enough.

"Firstly," Jack said hotly, finally losing his cool, letting go of Ianto and stepping toward Gwen. "I say you are not my second because it is the plain and simple truth. You have been here less time than anyone else on the team, not to mention you are vastly inexperienced compared to them. Susie was not only my second, but also our weapons specialist, which we all know that you are not. Secondly, I can't rely on you to complete basic paperwork on time, why would I leave you in charge of my team?"

Owen loved this; finally, Jack was acting like a leader instead of some whipped dog. It seemed that whatever had happened to Jack during the time he was gone had finally opened his eyes to Gwen's manipulations. He sat down in his chair, kicking his feet up, and leaned back to watch the show.

"Thirdly," Jack continued. "Neither Ianto, nor Tosh, nor Owen told me anything. I happen to know how to read reports and view CCTV footage to get that information. And let me tell you something, Tosh was absolutely right. Ianto ran this place while I was gone. He took care of things that you don't even know exist, not to mention cleaning up all of your shit as usual. Which stops today by the way."

Ianto was shocked. He hadn't realized that Jack reviewed everything, and he really wasn't expecting such a vehement defense. His heart clenched as Jack defended him for once.

"Let me tell you about that 'poor lamb' as you call him. He runs this place even when I am here. He is a top-notch archivist, speaks seven languages, is ten times the shot you are, and could probably kick mine and Owen's asses if need be. He takes care of everyone here without comment or thanks, he's here when you all show up and he's the last to leave. He, Owen and Tosh have all taken the initiative to cross-train themselves in each others areas of expertise. And finally, what my partner and I do during our private time is none of your damn business!"

Ianto's head jerked up and he stared at Jack as he called him his partner. The two men shared a look, and Ianto nodded almost imperceptibly to which Jack grinned. The other three just stared at Jack.

"Partner?" Gwen choked out.

"Yes. Partner, lover, exclusive significant other, whatever title you want to use!"

Gwen looked greatly diminished at this, while Tosh and Owen grinned at Ianto causing the younger man to blush.

"I think, Gwen, that it would be best if you take a few days to consider your attitude towards your teammates and your place here. Go home, I don't want to see you here before Monday."

"But Jack!"

"No Gwen. My word is final; I want you out of here in the next five minutes."

Gwen stared at him for a moment before she stomped to her desk and began to gather her things, still not quite believing what had just occurred. The rest of the team started to disperse and head back to their respective stations in silence. Jack gestured for Ianto to follow him into his office.

Before they made it halfway up the stairs however, the computer monitors lit up and sirens blared throughout the hub, signaling a security breach. Tosh hurriedly checked her screens, trying frantically to figure out what they were up against. Jack, Owen, and Gwen quickly followed, checking the other screens for information.

"Something's locked onto our coordinates, I'm trying to jam the signal but its no use, we have incoming!"

"I can't get any readings on it either." Added Owen. "No idea if it's organic or not."

Ianto had made for the armory as soon as the alert sounded. He quickly began to hand out arms and ammo to the team. Jack stepped up next to him and grabbed the alien particle gun, to which Ianto raised his eyebrow

"What? You know I like 'em big! Always be prepared, right!" Jack grinned cheekily giving him a three fingered salute and a not-so-subtle once over.

"Don't see you in the scouts for some reason sir." Ianto commented dryly.

"You never know, I do love a uniform." Jack said as he quickly made his way to Tosh's station and handed her a weapon.

"What's the ETA?"

Tosh frowned. "Forty-five seconds, a minute tops."

"Alright, we have no idea where this is coming from. Gwen, Owen, I want you stationed at the main door. Tosh, Ianto, stay down here but out of sight. I want you guarding the route to the sub-levels." Jack ordered and they each hurried to take their position. "Tosh, take your PDA in case we need to go into lock-down. Stay sharp everyone and wait for my signal."

Just as Jack got into position they heard a strange whirring noise from the center of the main hub.

"Oh you have got to be kidding me!" Jack said as he straightened from his defensive posture.

"What is it Jack?" Gwen yelled from across the hub.

Jack shot a glare at her, silencing any further questions just as a strange blue police box materialized in the hub.

They all had their weapons drawn, although Jack did not take aim at the ship as the others did. After a few moments the door opened and a tall man in a brown suit stepped out and looked all around the hub.

"I must say Jack, this really is just as fantastic as you said! Although the welcome leaves a little to be desired." The Doctor said as he stepped out of the TARDIS and took in his surroundings.

"Stand down." Jack ordered. All of them save Ianto did so immediately. "I said stand down Ianto, the Doctor is not a threat."

"That's yet to be seen Jack. From where I'm standing he has quite a lot to answer for." Ianto replied as he moved closer still refusing to lower his weapon.

The Doctor frowned sadly, but he really couldn't blame the young man, he was right after all. The others stepped forward somewhat confused. They lowered their arms, but Tosh and Owen kept theirs ready to back up Ianto if need be. While this irritated Jack slightly, he was actually warmed by the support Tosh and Owen were exhibiting toward Ianto.

"Now is not the time Yan. Please," Jack said to his lover as he moved to stand beside him and gently squeezed his arm. "Let it go for now."

Ianto looked at Jack for a long moment before lowering his sidearm.

"Well." The Doctor said, filling the awkward silence. "I realize that my visit is a little unexpected."

Jack laughed humorlessly as he placed his hand on Ianto's shoulder. "Unexpected Doctor? The only time you show up is when something catastrophic is about to happen. So what is it this time?"

"Now that's just not true is it?" The Timelord bantered back while continuing to stand in the doorway of the TARDIS, blocking the view of the interior of the ship. "I've been to lots of lovely places for non-apocalyptic reasons. You just apparently missed those trips!"

"Yeah," Jack replied grimly. "I suppose I did, although somehow I seriously doubt they really happened."

With a grave expression, the Doctor replied, "I'd say that you, more than anyone else Jack, have a right to question that."

The two men shared a long look, one full of regret, the other of pain and anger.

"I'm sorry Jack. So, so sorry. I should have told you that before, I should have done a lot of things before. But I truly am sorry - for everything."

Jack struggled with his composure. Part of him really wanted to hang on to his anger against the Doctor. It gave him something to focus on, something other than reliving the horrors of that year. But before him stood the man that he had given his life for, innumerable times, and if truth were told, would probably do so again. He nodded his head once as tears glistened in his eyes.

While Jack processed this new development the rest of the team had gathered closer to the TARDIS. Tosh seemed fascinated by the ship, obviously eager for a chance to check out the technology used in such a powerful vessel. Gwen looked back and forth between Jack and the Doctor, trying to figure out what they were talking about. Owen was keeping watch, assessing the situation and wondering why Ianto looked so pissed. Even Myfanwy peered over the edge of her nest to survey the scene below.

"So if the world isn't ending," Ianto ground out to the Doctor, "what is it that you want?"

Ianto stepped forward, not breaking from Jack's hold, but clearly positioning himself in between the Captain and the Timelord.

"Yan - "Jack tried to interrupt.

Ianto continued, ignoring Jack's interruption. "You always seem to want something so what is it this time? Because if it's Jack than you are bang out of luck, because you'll have to kill me before he goes anywhere with you ever again!"

They all looked at Ianto, shocked at his outburst and clearly threatening demeanor.

Always knew he was ballsy, but shit - this is awesome! Owen thought, as he leaned against the railing, smirking at the gob-smacked Timelord.

Tosh crossed her arms and resumed her defensive stance in solidarity with Ianto. Jack couldn't leave again, they couldn't handle that; most importantly to her though, Ianto couldn't take it.

Gwen continued to look confused, but seemed to agree that the strange man wouldn't be allowed to kidnap the Captain again.

Jack felt like he should reprimand Ianto, but just couldn't do it. His vehement defense of Jack made him want to take Ianto down to his bunker and not return for a few hours, or days.

Great Gatsby that's hot! Jack thought. Gods I love you Yan, I'm not going anywhere!

The Doctor spoke calmly, shocked and leery of the rage coming from the supposedly unflappable man, and was careful not to make any move that might provoke the young man.

"You must be Jack's Ianto. The Ianto he had to get home to; I can see why now."

Gwen frowned at the Doctor referring to him as "Jack's Ianto."

"No Mr. Jones, I'm not here to take Jack away. This time I actually came to return something to him, something very precious that he lost a very long time ago." The Doctor turned his attention to the Captain, receiving a confused look in return.

"I hadn't planned this, but I happened upon - well that is to say the TARDIS discovered - well -"

"Oh for the sake of the galaxies Doctor, shut up already and move!" A voice came from inside the ship that caused both Ianto and Jack to freeze.

Owen pushed off from the railing and moved to stand next to Tosh, about five feet to Jack's left. Gwen continued to stand slightly behind Tosh and to the left, but shifted to see the front of the TARDIS better.

The Doctor rolled his eyes and turned to face the person in his ship. "I thought we agreed that you would wait until I'd told them first?"

"No, you decided and then preceded to bollocks it up! So will you move already?"

Slowly the Doctor looked over his shoulder at the two frozen men and grinned before he stepped to the right and lent his hand to the frail figure emerging from the ship.

"Ha-wha-" Jack cried out incoherently before falling to his knees.

Tosh, Owen and Gwen shifted as if to catch him, but remained to the side.

"Siani?" Ianto asked breathlessly.

"Hello Yan, I told you I'd see you today." She smiled at him softly as she leaned heavily on the Doctor.

Jack snapped out of his shock to stare at Ianto.

"Can somebody please tell me what the hell is going on?" Jack said, clearly shaking, with tears streaming down his face.

"Vedui' a'mael." Siani said as she took in the sight of her husband for the first time in over fifty years, a little surprised to find tears covering her own face.

"Sut sina verne'?" Jack implored the woman before him.

"Ta an narn - Jack." She shakily moved further out of the ship, still very weak despite the TARDIS' help.

Jack looked to Ianto, who helped him stand. "What is wrong? Why is she so weak Doctor?"

"Jack, its-"

"A long story, yeah I heard. How long have you known where she was?" Jack turned a burning gaze on the Doctor.

"Jack, I swear to you, it's only been five days. As soon as I knew I went to find her and bring her to you, I promise. Do you really think I would keep her from you? That I would allow her to continue to suffer?" The two men were so intent upon glaring at one another, the others standing transfixed that only Owen noticed the woman become increasingly pale and begin to sway slightly.

"Fine." Jack said. "We'll discuss this later, but first Yan -" Jack turned, speaking more gently to his young lover. "How do you know my wife?"

"WIFE?!" Ianto and Gwen exclaimed simultaneously.

Immediately following their outburst Siani collapsed; Owen barely reached her in time to stop her head from hitting the floor. The Doctor, Ianto and Jack all reached for her too late, but Jack grabbed hold of her taking her from Owen's arms. The moment their skin touched they both gasped as their bond reestablished itself before the world went black.

A/N - Whew! Ok, Jack and Siani's native language has been borrowed from Tolkien's Elvish; so all credit goes to him for that. The rough translations are as follows:

Vedui' a'mael - Greetings beloved
Sut sina verne' - How can this be wife?
Ta an narn - It's a long story

Chapter Text

Chapter 5 - Reconnecting

Disclaimer: Russell T. Davies and the BBC own Torchwood, which unfortunately includes Jack and Ianto.

 

Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008, Torchwood

"Why aren't they awake yet Owen?" Ianto asked the medic for the third time in the last five minutes. He paced the length of the med bay again, despite Owen's grumbling.

They were all in the med bay anxiously waiting for Jack, and the woman who was apparently his wife, to awake.

"I don't know Ianto! For the tenth bleeding time! Their vitals are good, well relatively speaking. They're just unconscious." Owen snapped. He ran a hand through his hair, frustrated that he could find nothing wrong, and therefore could do nothing for his patients.

Ianto stopped in between the two beds and looked down on the two still forms. "What do you mean relatively speaking?" He said slightly panicked.

Tosh watched Ianto as he frantically shifted between the two beds. Yes, she was concerned about Jack and his wife too, but Ianto was really starting to worry her. This wasn't a normal reaction for the typically unflappable Welshman.

"Well," Owen sighed. "Jack's fine, I can't find a thing wrong with him," he said while checking the monitoring equipment at the head of both beds. "But she - Siani did you say?" He glanced up at Ianto, who nodded in the affirmative before resuming his pacing.

"She's very weak. She's malnourished, extremely underweight, and is definitely in the process of healing from some severe trauma. There's clear evidence of torture, sustained over a long period of time. Her x-rays indicate numerous healed breaks throughout her body, and though they seem to be healing, she has significant scaring especially on her back and around her wrists. Without her conscious I can't do anything more than what I already have. I need more information before I can decide on a further course of treatment."

The Doctor interjected. "I believe the TARDIS can provide you with the information you need Dr. Harper. She's been helping Siani heal since we found her. Believe it or not, she's made tremendous progress in the last four days. Once I got her to stop trying to kill me and into the TARDIS, she slipped into a catatonic state for awhile."

"Shit! Your ship's been healing her for four days and she's still in this condition? What the hell happened to her?" Owen stared at the Timelord, shocked at the revelation.

"Fifty odd years of torture from one of the most sadistic species in the universe." The Doctor sighed, looking down at Siani's unconscious form.

Tosh gasped, covering her mouth, and Owen slumped into the stool he had set up by the monitoring equipment.

Gwen was horrified! She sat on the stairs, watching from above, but still staying close by for when Jack would awake and need her. She may despise the woman who was supposedly Jack's wife, but fifty years of torture!

How can she be alive, let alone sane after that? Wait a minute, how can she still look so young? She looks younger than I do!

Oh god! The color drained from Ianto's face and he slid back against the central wall to the floor. All those times she came to me in my dreams, all that time and she never mentioned - they had been torturing her . . . she was always in the dark and I never even thought -

The Doctor stepped up next to the table that Siani occupied and gently stroked her hair while the others processed this information. Despite their snipping, he had grown to genuinely care for the immortal woman in the five days since he met her. She is so strong, and has suffered so much. Yet instead of seeking vengeance, all she wanted was to get back to her family. If only there were more people like her in the universe. It's people like Siani that inspire him to continue to protect the human race, Siani and his Rose.

Ianto groaned, startling the rest from their private thoughts. He felt like he was going to be sick.

What did they do to her? Fifty years? How? Wait, how is she alive? Could she be . . . no, that couldn't be it? Could it?

"Oi, Tea-boy, you alright?" Owen rose from the stool and crouched down beside Ianto. He checked his pulse while the younger man held his head between his legs. "You need to calm down mate; seriously, your pulse is racing!"

The room felt like it was on fire; it was so stuffy and hot that Ianto could hardly breath. He had an overwhelming urge to move across the room. He needs to be near them, to touch them both!

What is wrong with me? This is mad . . . oh shit, wife. He said wife; they're married! That means . . . oh God, I've lost him! Why would she tell me to hold on if she was coming to take him away from me? Why? She wouldn't do that. Would she?

Ianto's head was spinning, he felt as if a lead weight had settled in his stomach. "I - " He started to say to Owen as he looked up. "Help me - help me get up Owen."

"I don't think that's a good idea at the moment. You'd best stay where you are. I don't need you passing out on me too!" Owen told his friend.

Though he would never admit it, even on pain of death, Ianto was like a little brother to him. An equally snarky, yet somewhat OCD younger brother, but a younger brother none the less. This behavior really worried him. Ianto wasn't one to bandy his feelings about like this.

"No - I need - " Ianto leaned to the side and pressed his hands against the wall in order to lever himself off the ground. Unfortunately dizziness and smooth tiles are not his friends, so that didn't go very well.

"Here, allow me." The Doctor stepped over and helped Ianto to his feet. He wrapped his arm about the Welshman's waist, allowing Ianto to lean against him as they walked back over to the two unconscious figures.

I seem to be developing a habit of serving as a crutch lately. A Timelord crutch, a time crutch, no, a Timelordly crutch! Patent pending!

"Doctor, he really should stay down." Owen protested.

"I think I know something that will help him Dr. Harper. He'll be alright."

He slowly led Ianto over to the two still forms on the tables. With his free arm, the Doctor grabbed a nearby chair and positioned it between the two beds before lowering Ianto into it. He took Ianto's right hand and laced it with Jack's left, and did the same on the opposite side with Siani. The change was nearly instantaneous. Ianto lost his pallor and straightened in the chair, though he still seemed a little out of it. Strangely, Siani and Jack, though still unconscious, both shifted towards him.

"He'll be fine in a moment." The Doctor stated with confidence. "Nothing a little recharge won't fix!" He grinned at the confused faces around him.

"What just happened?" Tosh asked, concerned about the sudden change in Ianto and the frankly creepy movement of the couple.

"That's what I'd like to know! What the bloody hell is going on here, Doctor?" Owen raised himself up from the floor and moved past the Doctor to check Ianto's pulse again. Thankfully, it slowing began returning to an acceptable pace.

"That, I'm afraid, is a discussion for a later time." The Doctor knelt beside Ianto as he seemed to become more coherent.

Gwen remained in the background during the disturbance, observing each of her colleagues and the strangers in their midst. She isn't a heartless woman by any means, the thought of torturing and starving someone is enough to make her ill. However, she has thoroughly deluded herself into believing that Jack Harkness wants her, loves her even, and that he will wait for her until she decides to have him. Jack's earlier words cut deep though, and threatened to cause Gwen to doubt Jack's feelings for her. So, regardless of the odd happenings below, she allowed her thoughts to turn inward.

Is he tired of waiting for me? Is that why he's with Ianto? No, surely not. Maybe he's treating me this way to make me jealous. That has to be it! Now his wife shows up, that does make things a little more complicated. Well, she hasn't been in his life for years, she can't expect him to just pick up where they left off. It's sad really, but she'll have to realize that he's moved on since he last saw her. Maybe I should tell him I'll leave Rhys, that should bring him around.

Gwen's internal monologue was interrupted by Tosh. "Ianto, are you alright? How are you feeling?"

Tosh moved closer to stand near him and the Doctor, who remained by his side, after Owen moved to check Jack and Siani's vitals again.

"I think so. Whatever that was seems to have passed. I can't explain it. I just had to be near them. I - I don't understand."

At that moment, Ianto looked much younger than his 24 years. Tosh and Owen glanced at each other, seeking an answer, but neither knew how to help him.

Gwen scoffed softly, yet loud enough to draw everyone's attention, which she hadn't meant to do.

"Something helpful to add Cooper?" Owen challenged. He glared at the woman as she continued to sit on the stairs.

Gwen just shook her head; she didn't wanting to say anything that might cause more problems for her at the moment. Now was really not the best time for her to be forcibly removed from Jack's side if she was to convince him of her availability.

"Then do us all a favor and shut up." Owen said testily.

In spite of her desire to lay low for the time being, her temper got the best of her, as it always does with Owen.

She snapped at him vindictively, "I'd say it's obvious what is wrong with Ianto."

"Oh?" The Doctor was curious to know if any of the Torchwood personnel from this century were familiar with mate bonds.

Tosh and Owen eyed her warily, knowing by her tone that whatever she said would not be constructive. Ianto just looked at her wearily.

"Of course. Now that his wife has shown up, Jack won't have any use for their little extra-curricular activities any longer." Gwen plastered on her patented, doe-eyed, innocent expression.

Ianto paled once again and began to extract himself from the married couple. Gwen's words only served to reinforce his fears.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" Owen yelled as he attempted to get Ianto to stay sitting down.

The Doctor seemed shocked by Gwen's words and attitude.

Why would she say such a thing? Doesn't she realize how hurtful her words are? Ianto doesn't know yet that they're not true either. Clearly there's something going on here that is causing quite a bit of angst. Such a human thing, angst. No matter where they go in the universe, it never changes. Ah, I wonder if they have bananas.

Ianto stood up, gently pushed past Owen and began to walk over to the other staircase.

"I'll be in the archives, someone at least let me know when they've woken please." He made his way up the stairs without looking back.

"Ianto!" Tosh called after him, but he just continued through the hub, Gwen's words echoing in his mind.

"That's it!" Owen marched over to stand in front of the stairs on which Gwen was seated. "Get your shit and get out, you've done more than enough damage today!"

"I'm not going anywhere Owen! Jack is unconscious right now, you might need me." She crossed her arms and jutted out her chin stubbornly as she stood up.

"You are the last thing anyone here needs Cooper! Jack already ordered you to leave earlier, so get out! And before you make some other asinine comment about what you think Jack wants or needs, let me tell you that if he were awake right now, he would probably Retcon you back to nappies! Now get out of my sight before I shoot you!" Owen was positively livid, and looked very ready to carry out his threat.

She looked at the other two conscious occupants in the room and saw no chance for support from either one. In fact she was pretty sure she would have to watch her back from now on, Tosh looked to be out for blood. So she glared hatefully at Owen before stomping up the stairs, once again gathering her belongings, and noisily making her way out of the hub.

Once she had left, the Doctor turned to Owen and Tosh, and quirked his eyebrows in question. "I'm assuming I've missed something?"

Tosh laughed darkly and Owen sighed. He sat down heavily on the chair recently vacated by Ianto.

"Have a seat Doctor, while we wait we'll fill you in on the delusions of Gwen Cooper." Tosh told the Doctor as she indicated for him to sit on Owen's stool.

While all of this was happening, another conversation was occurring between the unconscious couple.

 

Mela, are you there? Please, I can feel you again, can you hear me?

I can hear you a'mael, it's a little strange though. I had forgotten what it felt like to feel you like this.

How is it that I couldn't at least feel you if you've been alive all this time? How long has it been for you? Please tell me it hasn't been long.

Jack -

No. Don't call me that, say my name . . . please, it's been so long. Jack entreated his soulmate.

Shaeluin. My Shae, it's been over fifty years. Siani told him gently. She was angry and hurt, but she loved him and couldn't bear to cause him pain.

Oh goddess! En' Isilme, it's not possible. All this time! I looked for you, for years and years. I searched the galaxies trying to find you, you have to believe me!

I know a'mael, I know. I could still feel you. I knew you were trying to find me. That's how I survived the first few years. They mostly ignored me during that time, sometimes I think they forgot I existed. It wasn't until a few years after you left the Time Agency that they seemed to remember I was there.

How could you feel me if I couldn't feel you Isi? I felt our bond break, just a year after I lost you!

It was the Marwolaethians. I found out later that they were experimenting on manipulating bondmate links, and I was the primary test subject. That's why they took me in the first place, somehow they found out about us.

Marwolaethians! Oh please tell me it's not true! I never could discover the name of the creatures that took you, but I've heard of the Marwolaethians. The most horrid creatures, I never knew they were the ones. Oh goddess, love you have to forgive me. I should have found you, I never should have given up!

Shae, a'mael, it isn't your fault. There was nothing you could do, they were too well hidden. I saw how far you went, how long you searched. Years after you felt our bond break you continued to search against all reason. Even after Carademyn gave up, you kept searching. I never blamed you mela, not even once.

Wait, you don't look like you've aged at all since I lost you. How did you survive fifty years with those monsters and not age a day?

I don't fully understand it all. I believe the Doctor might be able to answer that better. What I do know is that Bad Wolf didn't stop with making you immortal, she decided to share with me as well. Our bond guaranteed that I suppose.

Oh no! I'm going to kill him! I never meant for this to happen. I never wanted you trapped in this eternity too.

Trying to get rid of me so soon? Siani quipped, trying to cheer him.

Never! I just - this never-ending life, sometimes it's almost too much to bear. I don't want you to bear this burden too.

I know a'mael, but don't you think it will be better now? Now you won't have to bear it alone.

I've never deserved you, that's one thing that your father was actually right about.

Jack grinned internally as he felt her roll her eyes.

I've never forgotten you Isi, after all these years, its still you that I see in my dreams.

He immediately felt her hurt and then anger through the link which was strengthening by the moment.

What is it? Why are you angry?

I understand that it's been a long time for you. I also know how much you've been hurting. But I'm sorry, I just can't believe you truly mean that when I've watched you go from one person's bed to the next for years. How can you say that it was me in your dreams when you've been so intent on wiping me from your memory with hundreds of others? Siani's pain and heartbreak radiated through the link.

Jack was shocked, and not a little hurt.

What on earth do you mean hundreds? I'll admit I'm not proud of it at all, but there have only been two Isi. Two in over 150 years. And it was a hundred years before I could even consider the possibility!

Do not lie to me Shae! He could feel her anguish. I saw you! I saw you with them! Do you have any idea what it's like to be forced to watch the person you love more than anyone else, shag his way across the galaxies!

Isi. Jack responded gently. Something's not right here. I swear to you, there have only ever been two. Only Lucia and Ianto, that's all that there has ever been. And with Lucia it was only once, and even that is fuzzy. I admit that I've created that image, but that's all it's ever been, a way to keep people from getting too close. If I made them think that I was a heartless philanderer, they were less likely to want to know anything about me and want anything from me. You said that they were studying ways to manipulate the bond. They must have figured out a way to project images through it mela. They were torturing you, what better way was there than to make you think that I could do such a thing?

Siani was shocked and felt like a complete idiot. How could she not have seen something so obvious. Why did she not think that they could do other things to the link than just partially block it?

She felt as if her world was spinning. Everything she thought she knew about the last fifty years was suspect. Guilt rolled over her in waves. All of these years she believed that he was hell-bent on trying to forget her.

So - She began hesitantly. You mean that you and Carad never -

Carademyn?! For god's sake Isi, give me some credit! He's your brother, I would never do such a thing! We told everyone we were lovers as a cover story. Neither of us trusted the Agency, so we had to have an excuse for why we were constantly traveling together. The Agency gave up searching for you after a month. We became partners so we could continue to search for you.

She had never felt so low. She had accused her husband of the worst infidelities less than an hour after their reunion.

Oh gods I've been such a fool! Shaeluin, I'm so sorry. I - I should have known.

Jack felt all of her emotions, which easily calmed his anger. She didn't know that it was all an illusion. Those monsters had fed it to her for years, no wonder she believed it.

No love, you have nothing to be sorry for; it's not your fault that they did these things to us. I have to be honest though Isi. I don't regret Ianto, I just can't. There's something different about him Isi. I'm sorry, I know this must hurt you and that's the last thing I want, but I have to tell you the truth.

Jack felt her mood change, felt her mirth which confused him greatly.

Some things never change. For all your brilliance you're still as thick as they come sometimes!

What do you mean?

You don't see it? You don't feel who he is to us? She prompted.

Well I . . . wait, you mean it's him?! It's really him, I found him? Jack's joy burst through their bond. That's how he knew you. You were able to communicate with him.

Yes a'mael, but only through dreams. Ianto is the one we've waited for all these years. He is our Telanan.

They shared their delight without words, simply basking for the moment in their reunion and the knowledge that their completer was with them at last.

Suddenly they felt him. They could feel his presence, his emotions. He was worried and scared, and so very confused.

We need to go back Shae, he needs us. There is so much that we need to explain to him. We're so close, we can't risk losing him.

You're right. It's been so long since I've done this, it may take awhile.

Me too, I can feel a little bit now. He's holding my hand, I can't feel anything else yet.

Let's focus on waking up, we have all the time in the world to continue this, and soon we'll have Yan with us too.

Finally! You've had him for the last few years, you lucky bastard! I call dibs!

Jack laughed as they focused their efforts on regaining consciousness. Slowly their senses began to return and they were able to hear the others, they were arguing. Gwen said something, "Now that his wife has shown up, Jack won't have any use for their little extra-curricular activities any longer."

They felt Ianto's distress, felt his heart aching as he left their sides.

Panicked, they focused harder, struggling to return to consciousness.

You do realize I'm going to kill her right? Siani told her husband.

I think there may be a line for that mela. Retconn her? Hell, I might shoot her!

It was still some time before they were able to awake. During that time they heard Owen and Tosh explaining all of the issues surrounding former PC Cooper. Jack listened, hearing for the first time the issues caused by his leniency towards Gwen and her obsession with him.

He was ashamed to admit that he had never noticed much of what they told the Doctor. Jack was shocked to learn of Gwen's treatment of Ianto, constantly demeaning, pushing her work off onto him, etc. He felt like an abject failure, as a boss and especially as a lover.

Why did he never say anything?

From what I'm hearing love, I'd say he probably thought you wouldn't believe him. Siani replied as she started to awake.

The monitors beeped, indicating an increase in heart rate as Siani and Jack both woke.

The other three occupants of the room were immediately by the beds.

Owen began checking Siani first as the Doctor ran his sonic screwdriver over both of them. "How are you feeling Mrs. Harkness? Any dizziness, blurred vision, nausea?"

"No, not at all, and it's Siani, please." She smiled sleepily at Torchwood's resident medic.

"Of course, Siani." He smiled back. She had an infectious grin, causing even the caustic doctor to return it.

If she wasn't mistaken, he even blushed a little.

"Hey Owen, if you're done grinning at my wife like an idiot can you do your thing so we can get out of here?" Jack commented, causing Owen to flush in embarrassment.

"Shut up Harkness." He lamely responded as he moved to check the Captain over. He intentionally took more time than necessary after that comment.

Jack laughed aloud and Tosh giggled. The Doctor and Siani watched on grinning.

Siani was delighted, she had so wanted to be a part of all of this. These past few years especially, she watched Jack interact with his team, wishing she could be here. Now that she is, she's determined to make the most of it.

"You're fine you bastard." Owen said to Jack, still a little embarrassed. "Now get out of my med bay. Siani on the other hand, I need to do a full work-up. I need to get you started on some supplements and maybe physical therapy. When you're up to it, I would like to discuss what happened to you so that I can better help you heal." Owen continued, slipping into no-nonsense doctor mode.

Jack hopped off the bed and took his wife's hand. "You also need to eat and rest soon." He said with concern lacing his words.

"It's alright Jack." Siani said as she looked up at her husband and smiled. "You need to go find him. I'll be fine here with Owen, Tosh and the Doctor."

"But -"

"No Jack. Go to him, try to reassure him. Maybe later we can all talk?" She said hopefully.

"Alright, if you're sure. I'll be back as soon as I can, and hopefully with Ianto." He sighed before leaning forward to kiss her on the forehead, reluctantly letting go of her hand as he moved toward that stairs. "Don't go anywhere!"

"My hospital gown and I will be right here when you both get back!" She said, causing him to laugh as he left in search of Ianto.

"I think I can help you there Siani." Tosh said. "If you like I can go purchase some clothes for you while you visit with Owen."

The Doctor smiled at Tosh's thoughtfulness. "Any chance of some bananas while you're out? I love bananas, don't you?"

The women both grinned at the eccentric Doctor and Owen rolled his eyes.

"Oh course Doctor. Siani, do you have any preferences as to what you would like me to get?"

A little embarrassed she replied. "Not really, I need a little of everything and I'm not very familiar with current clothing options. I don't have any currency though."

"No problem, I'll take care of everything!" Tosh said, glad for the chance to do something constructive.

"Just - just nothing too confining around the wrists and neck if that's possible." Siani asked quietly.

"Oh course," Tosh said, she moved forward to squeeze Siani's hand. "I'll be back shortly. Owen, the rift looks to back quiet for quite a while, so you shouldn't have any disturbances."

"Thanks Tosh!" They all said laughing together. It was nice to hear laughter in the hub for a change, it had been absent for far too long.

She left the hub through the garage entrance, her thoughts swirling with the mess that was currently Torchwood. Tosh hoped that somehow this would all work out and that her friend wouldn't have his heart broken in the process.

Chapter Text

Chapter 6 - Love Takes Off Masks

 

Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008, Torchwood Archives

It was happening again. All the walls of the neatly ordered rooms in his mind were starting to crack, spreading out like little rivers making way for the ocean's tide.

This is even worse than when I lost Lisa, so much worse. God, I never thought anything could be worse than that. Losing Jack though, I - I don't know if I can do this. It's too much. It's not even just Jack though, it's her too. Why did she come to me? Why did she help me heal after Lisa, comfort me when Jack left, just to show up and destroy everything?

Ianto sat curled tightly into a corner of a remote section of the archives. He was trying desperately to pull himself together. He couldn't breakdown, not here.

The worst bit though is that I love her too. She knows me, knows my fears and struggles. Why is she doing this to me? I'm such an idiot. It was so safe when I thought she was just a creation of my own mind, my ideal come to life.

"Ha!" He laughed darkly as tears streamed unnoticed down his face.

Now she's here, she's real; and she is Jack's and he is hers. I guess I know where that leaves me.

Ianto was so immersed in his inner turmoil that it didn't register that he had started to tremble. His body was fighting against the effects of his breaking heart; less poetically, he was suffering from a mild case of shock.

I'll have to leave, leave Torchwood and Cardiff. I can't stay here. I can't see them every day and pretend that it's not ripping my heart out. I've got to get out.

Ianto was so caught up in his thoughts that he didn't hear the rapidly approaching steps, nor did he notice when they came to a stop right beside him. He started when he felt a hand reach down to cradle the side of his face, wiping away his tears.

"Oh Yan. Please don't cry. Things are not what you think; it's going to be alright. I promise you that sweetheart." Jack said softly and moved to gather Ianto into his arms.

"No Jack." Ianto pushed Jack's arms away and struggled to stand. He looked like a cornered animal, terrified and desperate to flee.

"Everything is not alright! I -" He rubbed a hand across his face clearing the rest of the tears.

Jack watched in concern as he saw Ianto's mask slide back in place as he straightened his suit and squared his shoulders. And just like flipping a switch, he was once again the perfect butler.

"I take it your wife is awake now sir. Should we go check on her? I'll make some coffee and meet you in the medbay." Ianto didn't wait for a reply, but instead he started to weave his way through the maze of the archives, leaving Jack standing there.

Jack hurried to catch up and reached to grasp Ianto's shoulder, pulling him to a stop.

"Please stop, sir. It's not appropriate." Ianto said, his voice cracking with emotion.

Jack stepped in front of Ianto, holding him in place by both shoulders. Ianto was staring resolutely at the floor.

"Ianto, please look at me." Jack gently lifted Ianto's chin to meet their eyes. His heart broke a little from the pain radiating from his young lover's gaze. "There you are." He softly caressed his cheek.

"Yan, there are so many things happening right now. Most of it I don't understand myself. One thing I do understand though is how important you are to Siani and me." Ianto tried to pull away.

"Please stop Jack! Please! I can't have this conversation now."

"What conversation do you think this is Ianto?" Jack asked as he continued to hold Ianto in order to keep him from escaping.

"I'm not stupid Jack. I can't listen to the 'we care about you and we can still be friends' thing right now. I'm begging you, please." He started crying again, much to his annoyance.

Jack pulled Ianto's stiff form to him, hugging him tightly.

Jack kissed his head, and stroked his soft hair. After a moment, Ianto gave in and clung to Jack, believing this would be the last time he would ever be held by the man he loved.

"I know this is confusing for you Yan, but there are some very important things you don't know yet. Don't give up on us Vanima, on either of us; we care about you so much. Don't turn away from us now. Will you listen Yan? Will you hear us out, keep an open mind? We don't want to lose you!"

Ianto lifted his head from Jack's shoulder. "You're not making any sense Jack."

Jack smiled at Ianto. "I know that. But promise me please, that you will listen and not make any decisions until we've explained everything."

Ianto gazed into Jack's eyes, searching for what he knew not, but seeing Jack's desperation he nodded his head in agreement.

Jack sighed, "thank you." He touched his forehead to Ianto's, both closing their eyes, one in desperation the other in relief. "Come on Yan, let's go check on Siani."

"Alright Jack."

Jack pulled back and released Ianto from his embrace; but before Ianto could get to far away, he reached his hand out for the younger man to take.

Ianto glanced between Jack's hand and face trying to decide whether he should allow himself the intimacy.

Don't be an idiot! This may be the last time he ever offers you this, take it!

The older man smiled as Ianto finally took his offered hand.

"Let's go Yan. I swear to you, everything will be alright."

 

Torchwood Medbay

 

"Ok, I'm going to let those scans continue to run. In the meantime I'll need to do some blood work and then when you're ready we'll need to talk about the treatment you received while in captivity." Owen addressed Siani who was sitting up on the examine table.

"Alright Owen, I don't want to have to explain it all more than once if that's alright. I'd like to wait for Yan and Jack."

Owen nodded, "Of course, we can wait for them if you like." He moved to his side table to begin prepping to draw several vials of blood.

"This is all so fascinating!" The Doctor exclaimed. "You manage to do so much with such primitive technology, its fantastic!"

Both Siani and Owen rolled their eyes at the Doctor who seemed to bounce from one side of the medbay to the other, examining equipment and reports.

"Oi, Space-Boy, mind the primitive tech, it's the best we've got at the moment."

Ignoring him, the Doctor continued his exploration, using his sonic screwdriver continuously.

Owen turned back to Siani. "Ready? This shouldn't take but just a moment."

She hadn't been paying much attention to what Owen was preparing. She assumed he was getting the hemoscanner ready for the blood work.

Owen moved to place the tourniquet on her arm, which she found strange, and that's when she noticed the syringe.

"What the hell is that?" She yelled.

"It's just a syringe to draw your blood, nothing scary, just uncomfortable for a few moments." Owen was a little shocked at her outburst; she hadn't seemed have an issue with having blood drawn when he mentioned it a moment ago.

"No, no, please don't!" Siani cried loudly.

The Doctor moved to her side. "Siani, it's okay, this is how they run tests on your blood during this time period. Owen won't hurt you."

His soothing words fell on deaf ears though as Siani drew into herself.

She continued to cry out, "Please don't! Please, please stop! Yan! Jack! No, no!"

Owen was trying along with the Doctor to calm her, unsuccessfully.

By this point she was huddled beneath the blankets on the exam table shaking violently.

"Siani, Siani!" The Doctor tried to get her attention.

"It's no use Doctor, she's regressed. Shit!" Owen ran his hand through his hair in frustration. "I should have thought to ask. I'm such a twat!"

Suddenly a loud beeping sound came from the monitor next to Siani.

"Dammit! Her blood pressure is dropping. She's going into shock."

Owen and the Doctor moved as one toward Siani as she started to thrash on the table. They tried to restrain her to prevent her from injuring herself, but this only served to agitate her further.

"Jack! Ianto! Noooo! Please! No more please, no more!"

Just then, Ianto and Jack ascended the stairs into the main hub to the sound of a terrified scream.

Chapter Text

Previously:

"Jack! Ianto! Noooo! Please! No more please, no more!"

Ianto and Jack had just returned to the main hub when Siani screamed.

Chapter 7 - Retelling and Recovery

Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008, Torchwood Medbay

Both men tore off to the medbay, hurdling down the steps.

Ianto reached Siani first and shoved the Doctor out of the way before gripping her firmly by the shoulders.

"What the hell did you do Owen?" Ianto barked at his coworker.

Startled by Ianto's anger he replied, "Shit! I didn't - I'm sorry! I told her I needed to draw blood and she seemed fine with it. I didn't think that she wouldn't understand how we draw blood now. She completely freaked when she saw the syringe."

Jack and Ianto both glared at him darkly. Ianto looked royally pissed as he gripped Siani's right hand and attempted to still her by holding down her shoulder.

Owen felt miserable. Stupid, bloody stupid Harper. She's a torture victim for fuck's sake. You should have explained and not assumed.

Jack shook with anger as he stood at the head of his wife's bed; he wasn't really angry at Owen, it wasn't his fault. No, he was livid at the creatures that had done this to his beloved. She was drastically thin compared to the last time he saw her; her shapely, athletic figure was reduced nearly to flesh and bone. Her once lustrous hair was limp and dull; and her eyes, those gorgeous pools of chocolate, reflected years of pain and torment. He hated the Marwolaethians, but he hated himself even more.

I never should have stopped searching for her. This is all my fault, everything they did to her, it's my fault.

Sorrow and guilt crashed down on him to the point where he found it hard to breathe. Jack struggled to pull himself together even as tears fell down his face and his vision began to grey.

"Jack! Jack! Help he hold her down, she's hurting herself! Jack!, damnit, snap out of it!" Ianto yelled.

Ianto's voice pulled him back to the present and he looked, startled, at his two loves, his family, broken but finally together; and he swore to himself that he would see them both happy and whole, even if it took the rest of eternity to accomplish it. He didn't deserve them, but he would be damned if anyone took them away from him.

He moved to place his hands on Siani's shoulders to try to help Ianto restrain her, but she continued to thrash under their hands.

"No! No please! Shae, help me! Please-" Siani began to sob violently.

Jack's heart broke as he listened to his wife's cries, thinking of how many times she must have cried out for him like this while in captivity; guilt gnawed at him. "Why isn't this working? We should be able to calm her!"

"I need to sedate her Jack! She's completely regressed." Owen stated, he was shaken by her screams and worried about the long-term effects of her suffering. They needed to calm her down before she injured herself further or went into cardiac arrest.

"No, not yet." Jack looked hard at his wife. He moved to her left side and leaned down closer to her thrashing form. "What is it mela? What do you need?"

Suddenly an idea came to him. He looked between his wife and Ianto.

"Yan, I need you to do something for me." Jack said, drawing Ianto's attention from Siani's face which he was staring at while struggling to restrain her without hurting her.

"Of course sir." Ianto replied as he straightened, his butler mask falling seamlessly into place. He moved to step away from the bed, feeling somewhat guilty over his possessive behavior.

She's not mine. Neither of them is they belong to each other. There's no place for me anymore.

"No," Jack moved to take his hand, preventing him from pulling away. "Stay right here, please! Now this may sound weird, but I need you to focus for me."

"Focus on what Jack?" Ianto said, as he tried to remove himself from the immortal's grasp.

"Please Yan." Jack looked at him imploringly, while twining their fingers together. Despite the immediacy of the situation, they stopped and looked long at each other.

"Fine. Tell me what to do." Ianto agreed

Jack smiled at his lover. "Keep holding my hand," Jack said with a wink. "Focus your thoughts on Siani, on talking to her through your mind."

Ianto's only response was a raised brow.

"I know I sound crazy, but focus on talking to her. Remind her where she is, tell her she's safe, just let her know you're with her. Okay?" Ianto nodded in acknowledgement.

"Alright then, let's help our girl." Ianto was too focused on his task to catch the possessive Jack used, but Owen and the Doctor were not. It confused Owen and delighted the Doctor. He loved happy endings.

Jack moved over to the other side of the bed next to Ianto. He placed their joined hands to the middle of Siani's chest, trying to hold her still while they spoke to her through their minds.

Um, Siani? Alright, I really feel like an idiot right now. I know you can't hear any of this, but I'll humor Jack. Since you can't hear me, I think you're bloody gorgeous. I think about you all the time; thought I was really losing it for a while since I thought you were just part of a dream. I even felt guilty, as if I was being unfaithful to Jack. Honestly, I'm so confused right now. Why are you here? No - stupid question. I know why you're here, you're here for Jack. I get that. But why did you come to me? Why tell me not to give up? Why did you make me love you too?

Isi my love, you're safe, everything is alright. I'm right here with Yan, so I need you to wake up for us sweetheart. Come on, stop listening to him ramble, I know he probably doesn't believe that you can hear him. I'm sure whatever he's saying is fascinating, but it's time to wake up.

Ianto felt a bit silly knowing that she couldn't hear him. So it startled him when a few moments after they touched her together, she stilled and curled to her right toward the two men.

Ianto was shocked, and Jack just grinned as Siani began to come back to herself.

"Yan?" Siani said very softly.

"I'm right here Siani." Ianto said as he moved his right hand to grasp hers and leaned down closer to her.

She smiled shakily as she opened her eyes. "I think you're bloody gorgeous too." Her smile widened as Ianto's jaw dropped and his face flushed.

"You - you really could hear me?"

Jack grinned.

"Yeah." Siani replied, her smile dimming. "And I promise to tell you everything."

Ianto and Siani shared a long look, seeming to reach some kind of unspoken agreement.

Siani moved to sit up and all four men reached out to assist her. Jack being the closest helped to adjust the table to allow her to sit upright.

Setting aside his confusion momentarily, Owen stepped up beside Siani and began to check her vital signs once more.

"I'm sorry Siani; I should have told you what was going to happen instead of assuming you understood how things operate now."

Siani shifted a bit to find a more comfortable position, with Jack and Ianto hovering anxiously, before replying.

"It's alright Owen." She smiled at him, still a bit shaky from the ordeal. "I should have remembered that the hemoscanner won't be invented for some time yet. It's not your fault."

"Right." Owen said, still feeling guilty. "Well, we can wait on the blood work if you would like."

"No, I'm alright now. I'm sorry; please go ahead, you need to run your tests."

"Are you sure?" Jack asked. "We can wait for a while."

"I'm fine Jack; I was startled that's all."

Ianto and Jack both looked at her and raised a brow in sync, which caused her to laugh.

"Do you two practice that?" She asked, grinning.

The two men looked at each other, before breaking out into grins themselves.

"Nope, we're just that good." Jack quipped, to which Ianto rolled his eyes.

"You're both distracting me; I'm trying to prepare myself to imitate a pincushion!"

Ianto shifted self-consciously, and began to pull back from the table.

"No!" Siani exclaimed, panic creeping back into her voice. "No, please don't leave Yan." She looked at him imploringly as she grasped at his hands tightly.

Ianto looked at her, wavering, uncertain as to what he should do. Siani stared back, before finally lowering her gaze and retracting her hands as she whispered, "I'm sorry."

She turned from a guilty looking Ianto and a conflicted Jack to face Owen who continued to look confused.

She said softly, "Go ahead Owen." He nodded silently and went back to prepare once again.

Siani closed her eyes as she leaned back into the pillow and sighed softly.

What a bloody mess. She thought.

The Doctor remained a silent observer though all of this, watching the interaction between the three. Something needed to be done to stave off disaster until they had the chance to talk. An idea came to him, and he smiled inwardly.

Well now, that's brilliant that is! Let's see what happens when I do this -

He stepped up to Siani's left side before leaning over her and gently stroking her hair. He quietly whispered, "Play along."

The Doctor continued to whisper in her ear, "This is all far too serious and angsty at the moment; I'm trying to rouse their inner cavemen. Do you think its working?" He softly touched her face.

Siani slowly opened her eyes to see the glares Jack and Ianto directed at the Doctor. She turned toward him and nodded her head, though it looked more like nuzzling to the two men watching.

What the hell has he been doing to my wife the past few days? Surely the TARDIS wouldn't allow something like that! He said she was catatonic for a while, if he did anything I'm-

"Ah-hem!" They heard Ianto interject loudly.

The Doctor and Siani both looked at the glaring men.

"Don't you have a circuit board to rewire incorrectly Doc?" Jack said, clearly not happy with his friend. He and Ianto both continued to glare unhappily, unconsciously mirroring each other by standing, feet apart, arms crossed.

"Nope, perfectly fine right here thanks." He smiled innocently.

"You –" Ianto stopped Jack from lunging by placing a hand firmly on his arm.

"I think we can handle things from here Doctor. So if you wouldn't mind backing up so Owen can do his job, it would be appreciated." Ianto said steadily to the Doctor, his thickened accent betraying his anger.

"Oh certainly! Dr. Harper, do excuse me!" He smiled winningly, moving back from the table. Ianto and Jack shot him another look before turning their attention to Siani, who had been fighting to contain her mirth the whole time. Ianto gently took her hand and Jack cradled her head in his hand.

"We've got you." Ianto said to Siani. "Go ahead Owen, let's get this over with."

The Doctor was inordinately proud of himself. Who said I only save planets? Maybe I could be an intergalactic Oprah! Did I really just think that? I really need a banana.

"Riiiiight." Owen said as he stepped up to the table. He was even more confused after that little interaction; but he picked up on one thing for certain, neither Harkness nor Siani looked like they were willing to let Ianto out of their reach. He just wasn't sure whether that was a good thing for his friend or not.

Where is Tosh? She should be here to help me figure out this soap opera.

Owen explained what steps he would take before drawing Siani's blood. The next several minutes passed in silence, with everyone focused on their own thoughts.

Bananas, I really hope Ms. Sato returns soon with bananas. Ooo or chips! Curry chips, oh that would be brilliant! I wonder, if I reverse the flux on the trans-

Ok, first thing, we take care of Isi. Run the tests, get some food in her, tie her down if need be to make her rest. Then we've got to talk to Yan, the longer we wait the greater the chance that something will go wrong. Oh my gods! Ha! Wow, I must be getting old! I haven't thought about the fact that I have the two hottest mates in all the galaxies in at least an hour! We're going to need a bigger bed, especially if Siani can still do that thing where she bends-

What the hell are you doing you bewt! You're acting a fool. You have no right to be possessive of her! Grr! This is so confusing! Why do they both want me here? Why do I listen? Walk away mate, just turn around and walk away! Oh you're such a-

Ew, needles! I hate needles! This is so primitive. How much would I screw up by inventing a few medical devices early? Hard to say, maybe I should ask the TARDIS, she would know. Wow, Yan's eyes are so blue. Kind of a slate blue; Jack's are more ocean blue. Arg, stupid Marwolaethians! Fifty freaking years without sex! Why does Yan have to wear such fitted shirts? How does Jack get any work done? Gods, I could just rip-

Owen finished drawing Siani's blood and completed the last scans he needed to run just as Tosh returned, loaded down with shopping.

"Oh clothes! Fantastic! Thank you so much Tosh!" Siani exclaimed. She sat up and turned to get off the table, but both Jack and Ianto reached out and stopped her.

"Where do you think you're going?" Jack asked.

"To change into the clothes Tosh bought me." Siani replied as she attempted to squirm out of their hold.

"Don't you think you should rest for a while first?" Ianto said.

Jack agreed, "Yan is right Siani. You should rest."

"Look, I love you both for being concerned, but if I don't get out of this hospital gown I'm going to go spare! It's a bit drafty and I never did go for the hospital-chic look, even when it was in fashion."

Ianto blushed at her comment. Don't be an idiot, she didn't mean it that way. She loves Jack and only Jack.

Owen, and now Tosh too, watched the trio like spectators at a tennis match.

Looking for another opportunity to help things along, the Doctor said, "Well, you'll need some help with that. Please, allow me Madame."

He bowed to her with a grin as he brushed past a gob-smacked Jack, and helped her off of the table.

"I don't think so!" Ianto said.

He winced. When did I lose the ability to control the words that come out of my mouth? It must be Jack's influence.

"Yeah, thanks but no thanks Doc. I've got it from here." Jack said firmly. The Doctor was really pissing him off.

What the hell is he playing at anyway? Doctor or not, he keeps this up he's going to need that extra hand!

Though somewhat amused, Siani felt that the testosterone levels had reached a critical point.

"Actually, if you don't mind, I could use your help Tosh." She asked the other woman who tried unsuccessfully to smother a giggle at the behavior of the men.

"Of course, I'd be happy to." Tosh replied.

"Siani-"

"Jack, its fine. We won't be long." Siani said. She looked at the three men and shook her head before taking Tosh's offered arm. The stairs from the medbay seemed much longer than she had originally thought. But before she could attempt them she was lifted into a pair of well-sculpted arms and carried up the stairs. Ianto set her down without comment.

"Thank you Yan." She said, running her hand over the back of his neck before he released her and stepped back, blushing once more.

Tosh caught her friend's eye and gave him a questioning look, which he broke off quickly.

Jack gave the Doctor a smug look that seemed to say, "Ha, point for us!"

"Well-" Ianto paused, nervously rubbing his neck where Siani's caress stilled burned his flesh. "I'll just go make some coffee." He quickly left towards the kitchen.

Tosh watched Ianto practically run to the kitchen. Frowning in concern, she nonetheless offered her arm to Siani.

"Oh Doctor," Tosh paused and said. "Your bananas are in the bag just there."

"Ooo, thank you! I love bananas." He said, bounding up the stairs to grab the bag.

Laughing at his excitement, the two women set off for the locker room.

"I'll just go set up a comfortable place for my wife to sit." Jack said with emphasis toward the Doctor who appeared oblivious. He walked swiftly up the steps toward the lounge area.

"Well, I think I'll check in with the TARDIS, get that information you wanted." The Doctor said, clutching his bag of bananas.

Left alone in the medbay, Owen glanced around before saying aloud, "What the hell is happening around here?"

 

Torchwood, Locker Room

Tosh pulled out the items she had purchased for the woman seated on the bench beside her.

Siani began to look through them, taking time to feel each of the fabrics. It had been so long since she wore anything so fine.

"I tried for things that would be comfortable and attractive. I know you probably want nothing more than to just feel human again, let alone like a woman again, so I figured that these might help." Tosh commented as she stood beside her.

Siani examined the underclothes Tosh bought; delighting in the feel of the black lace on her skin. "These are lovely, thank you so much!"

"No thanks necessary, I'm glad to help." Tosh said as she moved to sit on the bench. "They're from La Perla in case you want to get more of them later."

"I will thank you. Oh, this coat! Tosh it's fantastic!" Siani smiled at her warmly.

She had been looking forward to meeting Tosh, and hoped that she might be able to befriend the quiet Tech. "This must have cost a fortune!"

"Don't worry about it, I used Jack's credit card." She said happily.

Lifting up a pair of pants, Siani laughed. "Leather Tosh? Really?"

Tosh winked conspiratorially, "Absolutely, you can pull those off no problem. They're stretch so they're actually really comfortable. Also, I wanted to get you something kind of kick-ass and sexy."

"Why is that?" Siani asked, she was pretty excited about these pants, and she felt as if Tosh might understand her well already.

"Well, first of all, I think Jack might give me a raise." She said jokingly, as they both laughed. "But more than that, those will help put a certain someone in her place."

"Ah, Cooper you mean." Siani smiled.

"Oh yes, if I know her at all she will come in on a mission; that mission of course being the seduction of your husband."

"Yeah, I gathered as much. So sexy and edgy versus trampy and desperate round one, right?"

"Definitely," Tosh chuckled.

"Well, I think that the boys will love them regardless. That's the important bit." She said as she began to strip.

Tosh hesitated, "When you say 'the boys' you mean . . ." Tosh wasn't quite sure about what she had observed between Ianto, Jack, and the woman beside her, but she worried that Ianto would once again end up heartbroken.

"Jack and Yan of course." Siani pulled on the underwear and picked up the pants.

"What is it you that you want with Ianto? I'm sorry, that was rude." Tosh stood from the bench and faced Siani. "I just figured that things would be awkward for the two of you because of Jack." Tosh said, feeling very protective of her friend.

"It's no wonder he loves you." Siani smiled at Tosh. "Neither Jack nor I have any ill intentions towards Ianto, quite the opposite in fact."

Tosh just frowned, clearly confused.

Sighing she said, "Look Tosh, I know you're watching out for him, and I love you for that. Right now though I can't give you an explanation." Tosh started to interrupt, but Siani halted her by holding up her hand. "I will tell you, but not now. This is something between the three of us and Yan deserves to know about it all first."

Tosh looked at her, as if trying to test the veracity of her words. Finally relenting she said, "Alright, but - you won't hurt him will you? He's been through far too much in his life and I know he truly loves Jack. It's just - I don't want to see him hurt again."

"I am the last person on the planet that you need to worry about hurting Ianto." Siani said as she rose from the bench and looked Tosh in the eye. "I love him too."

"Okay then." Tosh said, accepting but determined to continue to keep an eye out for her friend. "Listen, I don't know everything that you have been through, but I do know what it's like to be held against your will and tortured. Granted, it only lasted a few months for me, not years, but - I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you need someone to talk to about it, I'm willing to listen."

Siani sat back down after putting on her blouse, "Thank you Tosh, I - you don't know how much that means to me. I want so much to put the past behind me and just live my life now, but it's impossible to just erase the past fifty years, as much as I would like to. I'm not ready to talk about it yet, it's still to fresh, but I may take you up on that in the future. I'm sure that Jack and Ianto would want to help, but I think that may cause more harm than good for all of us. So, thank you, so much."

Tosh nodded shyly, she really wasn't used to anyone willing to accept her help. Seeing Siani struggling, she knelt down to help her with her new boots.

"Thanks, these all fit so well, they'll be perfect once I'm back to normal. How did you manage that? You even got my shoe size right!" Siani said as Tosh finished with the boots.

Looking at each other they grinned and said in unison, "Ianto." Laughing they both stood.

"I should have known. Shall we rejoin the boys; make sure they haven't killed each other yet?" Siani asked.

Smiling, Tosh replied, "Alright, let's go. I want to see their reactions!" She once again offered her arm for Siani to lean on. "Ten quid Owen says something completely inappropriate!"

Laughing, Siani said, "That's a sucker bet, but you're on! Tosh, I think you and I are going to be very good friends!"

They made their way out of the locker room, ready to face the men in the hub.

 

Torchwood, Main Hub

The Hub was quiet when Tosh and Siani returned, except for the excited noises the Doctor was making as he ate what looked to be his third banana. He was seated backwards in Tosh's desk chair, swinging his feet happily.

Owen leaned against the wall watching the Doctor inhale the banana with morbid fascination.

Ianto was seated on the arm of the couch, drinking his coffee and pointedly ignoring the Doctor. While Jack sat on the seat at the other end of the couch leaving the spot between him and Ianto open. He was still glaring at the Doctor in between long drinks of Ianto's coffee, which he seemed incapable of letting go.

Siani assumed this to be her spot, if for no other reason than the number of pillows amassed there. Jack made a nest on the couch of which Myfanwy would be proud.

Typical Shae, but where the hell am I supposed to sit with all those pillows?

Once the women stepped into view, Ianto and Jack jumped up off of the couch, the Doctor stopped bouncing, and Owen slipped and almost fell away from the wall.

Tosh grinned, "So guys, what do you think, did I do alright with the shopping?"

Simultaneously they all replied:

"Wow," the Doctor said around a mouthful of banana.

Leering, Jack said, "Oh shit! Leather!"

"Fuck my giddy aunt!" Owen said.

Ianto just gaped.

Tosh laughed at them all, but Siani actually seemed a bit self-conscious. She was definitely not used to the attention after so long; and she felt a little insecure with Jack. They both had changed of course, but she knew that she looked a little worse for wear. He was gorgeous as ever, and he had been with other people since her. She was unsure whether or not he would still find her attractive.

What if he's disappointed? What if he doesn't want me anymore? What if Yan doesn't want me?

As they came closer Siani looked between Jack and Ianto. "Do I really look alright? The pants aren't too much? I can change, Tosh bought some others." She rambled, clearly apprehensive.

"No!" They both exclaimed, startling her a bit.

"Don't you dare." Jack said smiling. "You're beautiful! Tosh, anything you want, it's yours." He couldn't take his eyes off of her as memories came flooding back. Jack remembered the first time he saw her; skin-tight leather from head-to-toe, hauling her brother into headquarters over her shoulder. She was just as beautiful now; time and hardship had changed her some, but she was still the most beautiful woman in the cosmos to him.

Siani smiled at him before looking to Ianto nervously.

Like two teenagers they blushed when their gazes met and fidgeted uncomfortably. Finally, Ianto smiled softly and said, "Gwaedlyd hyfryd, anwyl, gwaedlyd hyfryd."

Siani beamed at him. Ianto stepped forward and taking her hand led her to her seat on the couch, moving a half dozen pillows out of the way. Jack really had no restraint.

"Diolch i chi, golygus." She replied as she sat down.

Ianto looked at her shocked, as she answered him back in perfect Welsh. He began to teach her during their "dream" conversations, but she must have studied further. Little did he know, the TARDIS is an excellent tutor.

How is it that she picks up my language so easily and yet Jack has been here over a hundred years and still doesn't know it? He mentally rolled his eyes.

Jack fussed with the pillows and pulled a blanket over Siani, tucking it around her until she was virtually cocooned on the sofa.

Siani just smiled and rolled her eyes, struggling to extract her arms. It really was fantastic to have him back again; now that she knew the truth regarding the years they spent apart, she allowed herself to really feel how much she missed him.

So when Jack leaned back into the couch and placed his arm around her, she found herself leaning into his warmth. She had not released Ianto's hand, and was determined to hold onto it for as long as he would allow her.

I can't believe I'm really here! I can't believe they're both beside me!

Her joy was almost palpable, and Jack could feel it radiating through their link. He smiled brightly at her happiness and kissed her forehead. Jack looked up at Ianto and smiled at him as well, hoping to convey his happiness and hope for the future. For the first time in over a hundred and fifty years he felt at peace.

Once everyone had settled they began to eat the lunch that Ianto ordered from the deli on the Plass. Siani slapped Jack's hand for the second time as he continued to try to feed her the soup she was eating. She frowned as he pouted before rolling her eyes at his antics. She had missed this.

The others watched in amusement as Jack continued to purposefully annoy his wife. Ianto was happy to see the two people he loved most so content, but it made his heart ache to think of what he was losing. He looked down, realizing that he still held Siani's hand and quickly, but gently removed it from his grasp.

Everyone was caught up in the story the Doctor started telling about strange, wriggly sandwich fillings on a distant planet, so they failed to see the sorrowful look pass over Siani's face as Ianto pulled away. Jack felt her shift in mood however, and pulled her closer offering her comfort.

"And then I said, 'Really Byron, Shakespeare was a very open-minded man and even he would object to that!' Of course he didn't believe me, that lead to Martha and me running even more. Really it was a lovely visit!"

They all shook their heads and laughed at the eccentric Timelord. Everyone finished their food and Ianto began to clear up and silently moved to the kitchen, Jack and Siani gazing at his retreating form.

"I'll go help Ianto clean up, be right back." Tosh said as she followed her friend.

When she entered the kitchen she saw Ianto leaning forward with his hands braced on the counter, head bowed.

"Ianto?" Tosh said quietly.

Ianto jumped at the sound of Tosh's voice and immediately busied himself with putting the dishes in the washer.

"What can I do for you Tosh?" He asked flatly without turning around.

"You can turn about and talk to me for starters." She told him gently.

Finishing his task, Ianto turned to face Tosh and leaned back against the grey, stone countertop. He continued to avoid looking at her as he crossed his arms almost hugging himself.

Tosh stepped closer to him and laid a hand on one of his arms.

"Are you going to tell me what's going on with you, or do you want me to guess?"

Ianto sighed, "Nothing's going on Tosh, I'm fine. No need to worry, I'm fine." He repeated, very unconvincingly.

"Who are you trying to convince Ianto, you or me?"

"I – it's just been a crazy day Tosh, I'm just tired."

Tosh scoffed, which finally caught Ianto's attention and he looked up at her.

"Ianto, come on, this is me you're talking to remember. Co-founder of the 'My Girlfriend was a Manipulative, Murdering Alien' club. Talk to me." She now moved to stand next to him against the counter.

"I don't know what to say Tosh. I'm scared; I'm so scared of what this all means. I mean, I've lost him right? Don't get me wrong, I'm beyond thrilled that the Doctor rescued Siani, but now that she's here, well, Jack and I are over. I always figured he would leave me eventually, I just didn't think it would be so soon."

Tosh's heart broke at hearing the resigned sorrow in her friend's voice. She wrapped her arm around his middle and hugged his side, resting her head on his arm.

"Honestly Ianto, I don't understand much of anything at this point. Neither Jack nor Siani seem to want to let you out of their sight. It just doesn't add up, but I am hoping that it all works out for the best. I – well, I asked Siani what she meant by acting this way toward you."

Tosh stopped when Ianto tensed and look down at her with a frown.

"I know, I know. I shouldn't have said anything, but I was worried. For what it's worth, she seems to really care about you; which doesn't make sense. You've never met her before, right? How did you know who she was? Did Jack tell you about her?"

"No, Jack never mentioned her." Ianto ran a hand through his hair. "I - I can't go into that all right now Tosh."

"Nobody can tell me anything!" She said, throwing her hands in the air.

Ianto couldn't help but smirk at her exasperation. He wrapped an arm around her shoulders.

"Come on Tosh, we better get back before they come looking for us."

The two friends made their way back to join the others who were debating the merits of different 1970s rock bands. Ianto stood next to the couch this time, instead of sitting on the arm as he previously had, a fact that did not escape the notice of the others in the room.

After the Doctor tried, unsuccessfully, to steer the debate to disco, an uncomfortable silence settled over the group. Ianto was staring into the distance, and Jack and Siani were mentally discussing how to broach the subject of their bond with Ianto later.

Not one to remain silent for long, Owen broached the topic they all were trying to avoid.

"Well, stalling's over I suppose. Siani, if you still feel up to it, can you tell us what happened to you?"

Ianto pulled his attention back from the dark thoughts pervading his mind, not wanting to hear what happened, but at the same time somehow knowing that he needed to hear. He turned toward the couch and leaned against the wall, waiting for Siani to begin. He could see the others waiting as well, all trying to prepare themselves for what would undoubtedly be a very unpleasant story.

Shifting uncomfortably, Siani nodded. She looked at Jack, needing his nearness. As he sensed this he wrapped his left arm tighter around her and took her right hand in his.

Mentally she asked him, How much do they know about your life before you came to Earth? Do they know about the Time Agency?

Yes, they know, unfortunately. Your brother paid me a visit not long ago, wreaking havoc as usual. They believe that he and I were together, we stuck with the cover story to avoid any detailed explanations.

Should I edit then, or tell them the whole truth? And what about Carad and your reputation? I think they, namely Yan, need to know the truth about that.

*Sigh* You're right, go ahead and tell them whatever you feel comfortable with. If we can't trust these four, than there really isn't anyone we can trust.

The others were looking at them, expectantly waiting for them to stop staring at one another and begin. Ianto was anxious and very conflicted at the moment. The Doctor was getting bored sitting still for so long; and Owen and Tosh just waited patiently.

Taking a deep breath, Siani began to recount a slightly abbreviated tale of the last fifty years. Only Jack and Ianto would hear the whole story.

"Jack and I met at the Time Agency in the year 5033. I had recently finished with my training and he was assigned as my partner. My younger brother, Carademyn, had followed me to the Agency, and was causing trouble as usual. Jack had already begun to make a name for himself as a highly effective agent; so, I was desperate to prove myself. We didn't get along well initially, did we?" She smiled up at Jack.

He laughed, "That's putting it nicely, you couldn't stand me! And I was pissed that your brother was constantly causing trouble for us."

"My goddesses, he was annoying then! Well, to skip ahead, we were married and bonded a year after we met. We - "

"Wait," Owen interrupted. "Sorry, but what do you mean bonded? How is that different from getting married?"

Ianto and Tosh nodded, also wanting to know, but unwilling to interrupt to ask as Owen had.

Jack answered. "By the 51st century humankind has made huge advances in numerous areas. One of those areas is an extra-sensory perception that goes hand-in-hand with increased psychic awareness."

"So you can read other people's thoughts?" Ianto asked, really hoping that it wasn't true.

What does that mean for Siani and me? Has she really been manipulating me this whole time?

He was ashamed of his thoughts, instinctively knowing they weren't true; but he couldn't help but wonder with so many unanswered questions. Siani looked at Ianto sadly, understanding the implications of that question, and he immediately dropped his gaze, guilty for thinking such thoughts of her.

Jack continued, "Not really. We can't hear what someone is thinking or delve into their memories. There are a few who can, but that gift or curse depending upon your perspective is very rare. Generally, it's more of an enhanced sense. Kind of - well, I suppose it's closer to empathy than telepathy really. The only people we can hear the thoughts of are our bonded mates."

With the exception of the Doctor, all of them were confused and struggling to understand this development.

"So you can tell what we're all feeling right now?" Tosh asked.

Jack and Siani both nodded.

Siani said, "Yes, though I'm sure that Jack senses it more clearly than I do."

"Why is that?" Asked Owen.

"The empathetic ability is strengthened by familiarity. The longer you know someone, and the closer you are to that person, the easier it becomes to read them."

Owen said, "Sorry to sound like an ass, but this all seems a little far-fetched. Can you prove it?"

Siani looked at Jack and nodded her head.

"Go ahead and show them." She said.

Jack sat up and leaned forward on the couch, resting his arms on his legs.

"Alright. Owen, right now you're skeptical, but excited, a little bit horny, and if you don't stop staring at my wife's chest I'm going to lock you in Janet's cell."

Owen's eyes bugged and he hurriedly looked down, uncharacteristically embarrassed at being caught out. Ianto glared at him, but only the Doctor saw the look before he carefully schooled his expression again.

"Anyway, as I was saying, this ability makes it possible to sense one's mate."

"But, what exactly is a mate? What makes them different from any other person?" Tosh asked.

Siani answered this time. "It sounds a little fanciful and overly romantic really, but a mate or mates, are your perfect match. Not only are they the individuals with which you are most biologically compatible, they are also your perfect partner physically and emotionally as well. Many years before either of us were born, there was a time in which mankind was struggling in the universe, on the verge of extinction really."

The Doctor nodded in agreement, he remembered those days. They were dark and desperate times, many races did not survive.

"Well, a group of people set out to save humans from dying out. Their research concluded that there was indeed a person, or persons, who were the perfect match for each individual. When these people came together they were happier, more productive, and most importantly in their eyes, more fertile. So using forces and powers throughout the universe they began searching for bondmates in order to save the human race. It was this discovery that kept us from dying out, and it has helped humanity to expand and prosper where other species in the galaxy have withered into extinction."

Owen asked, "So these 'forces and powers' you mentioned, what are they? Sounds a little like Star Wars to me!"

The Doctor, Siani and Jack grinned.

It was the Doctor who answered this time. "Weeell, you could put it that way I suppose. There are a great many things in the universe that are yet to be explored. Don't forget Dr. Harper, that many things that were once considered magic are now seen as science, and vice versa."

Owen considered this as Tosh asked, "You said that this bonding was meant to ensure procreation. I don't mean to pry, but did you two have children?"

Siani lowered her head, and Jack reached to take her hand. It was clear that this was a sore subject for the couple.

Jack answered lowly, "No, we didn't have children. Actually we were unable to because our bond is incomplete."

"What do you mean?" Ianto finally broke his silence. He appeared surprised though, as if he had not meant to speak aloud.

Siani and Jack looked at one another.

What do we say? We can't tell him in front of others; it's not fair to him!

I know, just the bare minimum for now.

Siani sighed, "We found out at our bonding ceremony that there was another person meant to complete our bond. While we were still able to bond with each other, we would never be complete or be able to have children until we found this other person. It was an unintended side effect of the whole concept of bondmates. Absolute fidelity and the insurance of the optimum combination of genetics. Something that you must also understand is that these bonds are not limited by time or space. Since humanity had gained the ability, though somewhat limited, to travel through time when this discovery was made, these bonds can consist of people from any time in history or the future, from anywhere in the universes."

Siani and Jack both looked intently at Ianto during this explanation; willing him to understand. His face remained impassive however, while internally his thoughts and emotions raged.

"You mean that there are three of you in this bond thing? As in you would all be married to each other?" Owen asked.

I was so born in the wrong time.

"Yes, that's exactly it." Siani replied.

Tosh being the genius that she is began to piece things together.

Oh my god! Ianto knew who she was! Was there some psychic link happening already? They both seem so concerned with how Ianto is processing all of this. Could he be the third? Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!

Silence reigned in the Hub for several moments; everyone was focused either on their own thoughts or on observing the others in the room.

The Doctor finally broke the silence. "Now that that's out of the way; Siani, will you finish telling us what happened?"

Diverting her attention from Ianto's form, Siani moved to sit up more fully. She removed the blanket and leaned forward, linking her arm through Jack's.

"Right, so after we were bonded we worked hard, and rose through the ranks, drawing increasingly difficult assignments. Five years after we married we were sent to the planet Karn to break up an illegal trading ring along with my brother and his partner. It was a disaster, they had to have known we were coming; Carad's partner was killed early in the mission and we were incurring heavy fire as we tried to escape. There was an explosion, I think I must have struck my head because things were a little blurry after that; all I really remember is being picked up and Jack and Carad screaming."

She stopped for a moment to compose herself. She had tried for many years to forget that day, and she could clearly see the effect of her words upon Jack. He was gripping her tightly, as though afraid she would be taken from him yet again; and silent tears streamed down his face. She leaned her head on his shoulder.

Ianto was transfixed, caught up in finally hearing part of Jack's past. Finally so many aspects of Jack's personality were starting to make sense.

"When I came to I was in a cell, I was left there for several days. I was scared to death, but so sure that I wouldn't be there long. I knew Jack would find me."

At this point Jack dropped his head in his hands, crying freely. Siani drew him into an embrace, holding him close.

She whispered in his ear, "Shh, my Shae. I do not blame you, you know this. I know you tried. Please do not blame yourself any longer, let it go my love."

Siani continued to hold Jack as he tried to calm down.

"What I didn't realize at the time was that they had already begun to study me. For some time I almost began to think that they had forgotten about me. Were it not for the daily food ration, I could have believed it. During that time though, they were studying my psychic link to Jack. You see, they couldn't sever it, nothing can do that; but, as Jack and I have discussed, they were able to manipulate it."

She stopped for a moment to take a drink of water before she continued, and Jack sat up a little straighter. The others were waiting patiently for her to continue. Ianto, however, was positively aching. The longing to go and comfort them both was almost overwhelming. All of the thoughts and emotions swirling within him were becoming almost too much to bear.

"I know now that I was kept on a ship for several years. They were constantly moving to avoid Jack and Carad catching up with them. They had petitioned the Agency to be partnered together. And according to Jack, they allowed the rumor to circulate that they were together in order to stave off any suspicion regarding their activities."

"Wait," Tosh interjected. "You let people think that you had taken up with your wife's brother?"

Lifting his head Jack replied with a humorless chuckle. "Yeah, tacky I know; but the Agency had ordered the search for Is - Siani suspended after only a few months. We were given direct orders to stop searching, which neither of us were going to obey. But to be able to continue to use the Agency's resources, we had to come up with an explanation for why we would take random trips together when we were not on duty. Carad was keener on the idea than I was; he acted like he was slightly fixated on me, but really he just enjoys screwing with people."

"Slightly!" Siani said with a laugh. "I thought we were going to have a cat fight when he first found out you and I were together."

"True. But he did get better after a while. He loves you, despite being a complete prat."

"I know." Siani said softly. It's strange what fifty years of isolation and torture will do to a person. She actually missed her annoying little brother, surely the sky must be falling.

"So after a little over a year, they apparently had a breakthrough." Jack continued. "Because that was when I felt our bond break."

"But you said it couldn't break." Owen said.

"I know, but that's what I felt. I just knew that she was dead. That was not a good time for me as you can imagine. I continued to search for years, despite what I felt. Honestly, if it weren't for Carad, I wouldn't be here. He stopped me from doing some pretty stupid things on numerous occasions; I owe him my life."

"It was at that point that their true manipulations began." Siani continued. "They, the Marwolaethians, that's who took me, discovered how to simulate changes in the bond. They were able to make Jack believe me to be dead, and for me to see him doing things that he was not actually doing."

"Wait a minute." The Doctor said. "You mean what we talked about before. You're saying that wasn't real?"

"That's what she's saying Doc!" Jack said frowning.

"Oh, so you expect me to believe that you weren't some intergalactic playboy?" The Doctor said, crossing his arms.

The team all looked at him expectantly. They knew his reputation; it was something that was talked of frequently.

Jack glanced at Ianto and then back to the Doctor. "Frankly, I don't give a shit what you believe, Doctor, but that's exactly what I'm saying. I know it's difficult to believe, but it is the truth. I allowed the rumors that spread from the time I spent searching for Siani with Carad to continue. Many of them were actually things that Carad did, the others were complete fabrications."

"But why?" Ianto asked. "Why spread those rumors?"

Looking at him intently, Jack answered. "It was better that way. People were less likely to expect anything from a notorious lothario. It paved the way with some people, and with others," he paused and looked pointedly at the Doctor. "It made them underestimate me. Either way it served my purposes. Believe it or not, I've actually only slept with three people my entire life, though I've recently discovered that the number may actually only be two."

"What?" Ianto and the Doctor exclaimed.

Nodding his head, Jack said, "It's true! Siani, Lucia, and Ianto. That's it."

Siani grasped his hand, trying to calm him down.

"Sorry," he said. "Sorry, I've worked years to build up this image; I shouldn't be surprised that you don't believe me."

Ianto felt as if his head was going to explode. Everything had changed so much in the last twelve hours that he was finding it increasingly difficult to cope. He really needed to sit down, so he pulled his desk chair over and sat down heavily. Suddenly, something clicked.

"Hold on," Ianto said as he turned to face Siani. "Just who is this brother of yours?"

Jack and Siani looked at one another uncomfortably.

"Well, you see . . ." Siani hesitated.

"It's someone you all know. He goes by a different name now, you know him as Captain John Hart."

"Are you shitting me?" Owen asked.

"No Owen, he's telling you the truth." Siani replied.

"John bloody Hart is your brother?" Ianto yelled.

"Um, yes." Siani replied, while Jack frowned at Ianto's outburst.

"So all those things he said while he was here; none of it was true?" Ianto asked Jack.

"That's right Yan. It was a story that we had told for so long that it just seemed easier to continue it. I am sorry." He said earnestly.

Ianto looked away, trying to process everything.

"Anyway, I left the Time Agency after they stole two years of my memories, which you know. It was not long after that when I met Rose and the Doctor. Then came Satellite 5 and my first death."

"Jack didn't know of course, that I was still alive." Siani continued. "By that point they had begun the physical torture in addition to the psychological. I had no idea that anything had changed until one of my captors, he was new, went too far and killed me. Believe me, waking up surprised me even more than the Marwolaethians."

"Wait, wait, wait!" Owen interrupted, as Tosh and Ianto looked on, shocked at this revelation.

"You mean that you're like Jack? You can't die either?"

"Oh I assure you Owen, I am very capable of dying. My captors made sure to test that extensively." Jack and Ianto cringed.

Tosh asked gently, "So, if you're like Jack, why haven't you healed completely?"

This caught Ianto's attention; he had been imagining numerous creative ways to kill the animals that had hurt Siani.

Jack looked dumbfounded. Why did I not think of that?

"Well, as Jack can unfortunately attest to, prolonged torture and repeated deaths slow the body's ability to heal. I'll be fine in a few days; it's just taking a little longer than normal."

"Are you sure?" Jack asked, his fear coloring his voice.

"I am." She smiled at him. "I was much worse just a few days ago, the Doctor can attest to that. I'll be just fine after a little more rest."

Jack looked to the Doctor for confirmation. The Doctor nodded in the affirmative.

"Well in that case I think it's time that -"

Jack was interrupted by the sound of the rift alarms blaring through the Hub. The Torchwood team jumped into action. Ianto disappeared, off to gather whatever the team might need for the mission. Tosh pulled up the monitoring program with the Doctor watching closely.

"Great! What do we have Tosh?" Jack said with a sigh.

Looking conflicted as he glanced between the computer and Siani, Jack said, "Alright, Tosh, Owen, get your gear. We'll - "

"Jack, I'd like to tag along if you don't mind?" The Doctor said, surprising the Captain.

"Sure Doc, I'll just –" He looked torn.

"Go." Siani said. "It's your job. I'll be fine here."

"Are you sure? I can stay if you need me?" Jack said as he knelt down in front of his wife.

She ran a hand through his hair. "No, it's alright. You go; your team needs you right now."

"Alright, if you're sure." Jack said reluctantly.

"The SUV is loaded sir." Ianto said as he returned to the central hub.

"Thanks Yan." Jack said. He stepped over next to Ianto and quietly asked, "Stay with her please? There is no one I trust more to take care of her while I'm away. Will you do that for me?"

He gazed intently into Ianto's eyes, and grasped his hand.

Despite his determination to remain aloof and professional, Ianto was touched by Jack's faith in him.

"Of course Jack. Go save the world, I'll hold down things on this end." He said with a smile.

Jack grinned widely.

"Why Yan, that's kind of kinky. Don't do that until I get back!"

Ianto's jaw dropped, and Siani giggled from the couch. Jack took off after the others with a wink.

"How is he able to take the most innocuous things and turn them into an innuendo?"

His only answer was Siani's laughter.

 

Welsh translations:

bewt - idiot

Gwaedlyd hyfryd, anwyl, gwaedlyd hyfryd - bloody gorgeous, darling, bloody gorgeous

Diolch i chi, golygus - thank you, handsome

Chapter Text

Chapter 8 – Questions and Tesco's

Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008, Torchwood Hub

As soon as the others left through the underground garage an uncomfortable silence descended between Siani and Ianto.

Ianto began to nervously straighten the lounge area, which didn't need it, and Siani watched him intently.

"Yan?" She said tentatively.

"Yes. What can I do for you?" Ianto said as he continued to move about, avoiding her gaze.

"Will you stop acting like the perfect servant and sit with me please?"

Ianto stilled and sighed, and raked his hand through his hair in frustration. Finally releasing a tiny bit of his pent-up frustration, he stalked over to Siani and plopped onto the couch.

"Happy?" He sniped.

Siani folded herself further back onto the couch so that she was seated with her legs crossed facing Ianto.

"Giddy," she said dryly. "Now, stop being an ass and talk to me. The others aren't here; you don't have to pretend any longer."

He desperately wanted to yell, to scream and rage and vent all his fear and heartbreak; Ianto knew he could, Siani would let him. That had been the brilliant thing about what he realized now to be the beginning of their relationship; she was his escape, his safe place from the pressures of his life.

Maybe that's part of why I'm such a mess. She was mine damnit! She was mine alone, and I could tell her anything. I could bitch about work or Jack, and she would listen. Now it's all just a bloody mess!

Siani watched him anxiously. She knew this was difficult for him, especially without knowing the truth yet. As the minutes passed she grew restless and worried, he had never acted like this before and it was very disconcerting.

His whole life's been flipped upside down in the course of a few hours you twpsyn! He needs to let off some steam, clearly. So, provocation or earnestness?

As Siani mentally debated what way she would use to get Ianto to open up she carefully watched his face. Seeing the anger rolling just beneath the surface she decided that a more gentle approach would likely yield better results. Her Yan had a temper to be sure; like her it took quite a lot to push him over the edge, but once you did, watch out!

She risked reaching over to take his hand, sighing internally when he pulled away. Pushing down the hurt she broke the silence.

"Look, I know that you're confused and that is probably making you angry since you 'know everything.'" She said facetiously using air quotations. "Let's do this, you ask me a question, and then I'll ask you one."

That finally elicited a response from Ianto. He turned to face Siani.

"Any question, and you'll answer it?" He looked skeptical, both Siani and Jack had been very evasive with their answers thus far.

She met his eyes and nodded. "I promise to answer your questions. There are a couple of things that I want to wait until Jack is with us to discuss though."

Ianto frowned. "But why? Why do we need to wait for Jack? What can't you tell me?"

"It's not that I can't tell you; we are going to tell you positively everything, I swear it." She grasped both of his hands with her own. "There are just a few topics that involve all of us, and it's only right that we be together when we talk about them. That is the only reason."

Ianto held Siani's gaze for a few moments, searching her face for any sign of dishonesty. Despite only having met her face to face for the first time just hours prior, he trusted her. Maybe it was the confidences they shared in his dreams, maybe it was instinct; whatever it was, he chose to follow it.

"Alright," Ianto said, squeezing her hands. "Do I have a limit on the number of questions I can ask?"

"Nope," she grinned at him. "Ask away my handsome Welshman, whatever you want."

When she smiled at him, he automatically returned it; it almost seemed to Ianto that he had lost control of his own body where she was concerned. He seemed to act on instinct, automatically giving her what would make her happy.

"Since I don't have a limit, I suppose I'll start with the mundane. Is Siani your real name?" Ianto asked.

He released her hand and leaned his left side into the back of the couch. Ianto placed his arm along it so that his hand rested near her shoulder.

"No. Siani isn't my real name; actually it's a very recent adoption. My real name is En' Isilme Astalderea. And now you are one of three people in the entire universe that know my name."

"En' Isilme Astalderea, "Ianto repeated. Siani smiled widely, her heart raced as he said her name. There truly is power in the given name, especially when spoken by one so beloved.

"Jack calls me Isi; you may as well, if you like." She replied tentatively.

Ianto smiled in return. "Thank you," he said earnestly. He knew that what she was allowing him was very special.

"Your turn now." Ianto said, relaxing a bit after she answered his first question so willingly.

"I only have one question for the moment; the rest of mine can wait until later when the three of us are together. I think that Jack will benefit from hearing the answers."

Ianto replied, "Very well, what is your question then?"

Siani looked down, suddenly a little nervous. She was afraid of his reaction.

"Well, I suppose it's more of a request really." Ianto raised a brow, but indicated for her to continue.

"Once we're done here for the night, can we go back to yours? Just the three us? Oh and can we stay with you? At your real home I mean, not the flat."

Ianto was taken aback, not just by her questions, but by the longing in her voice.

"How -"

"You told me remember. It's been a couple of weeks now, but you told me all about the house you inherited from your Tad-cu. You said that you have finally finished setting everything up since the renovations were complete."

"That's right. I'd almost forgotten that. I haven't been there in several days, I still haven't told Jack about it yet, too busy recently." Ianto paused, and looked at the woman in front of him. She was worse than Jack; her eager expression broke through any reluctance he felt.

He found himself agreeing, "We'd have to stop by the market, there's no food at all in the fridge and -"

Ianto found himself laying back on the sofa, with his arms full of Siani after she launched herself at him.

Laughing she said, "Oh, thank you Yan! You're amazing!"

She continued to lie atop him, giving no indication of wanting to get up any time soon.

"Ooo, can I have coffee when we go home? The three of us can talk in private, and you can show me what color you ended up using in the master bedroom. Oh, Yan I'm so excited!" She hugged him tightly, and decided there and then that he was by far the best pillow in the universe.

Ianto laughed, he couldn't help it. Her excitement was contagious, he absolutely adored her. She called his house home, and her body pressed down on his in the most delightful way. She smiled down at him, pleased to hear him laugh for the first time since she arrived.

The atmosphere between them began to change, and Ianto was experiencing a strong sense of déja vous. Different Harkness, more comfortable setting, but an eerily similar setting. Siani's eyes ghosted down to glance at his lips before returning to meet his heated gaze. Leaning forward, as he had wanted to with Jack in that warehouse, Ianto cleared his mind and for once decided to just do what felt right, damn the consequences. Just as their lips were about to meet they were interrupted by a voice.

"Yan, you said that you would hold things down while I was away. From where I'm standing you seem to have fallen down on the job. Way to take the initiative love." Jack winked at his grinning wife. Ianto looked shocked and initially afraid.

Jack continued. "Now this looks very promising, but I suggest a change in venue. Tosh, Owen and the Doctor have volunteered to keep an eye on things tonight and tomorrow. So what do you say we get out of here?"

Shaking himself, Ianto looked from Jack to Siani and back again. He then attempted to compose himself and helped Siani sit upright.

"Alright Jack, I just need to grab a few things and you should delete the CCTV footage of everything since Gwen left." Ianto got up from the couch and straighten suit. If Jack was not going to comment on finding his wife and Ianto in such a compromising position, than Ianto wasn't about to bring it up.

Jack looked at Ianto with his mouth agape, "What, no argument? No, 'Jack we can't both be off at the same time?'" Jack said, attempting to imitate Ianto's voice.

Ianto just smiled cheekily as he walked away to finish a few essential tasks.

Jack walked over to his wife a pulled her up off of the couch. He enclosed her in an embrace, leaning back to see her face.

"What on earth have you done to our Yan? And by the way, that was incredibly hot."

Siani was about to reply when the others returned to the main hub after securing the two Weevils captured in the cells.

"Oh get a room Harkness!" Owen snarked.

"I think we will. I've just got to delete today's footage and we can go." Jack moved to release Siani.

"Already on it." Tosh said as she moved to her station.

"Well, now we just need Yan and we can go." Jack said happily. "Toshiko, my fiery little dragon, would you send that footage to my secure folder before you delete it? There are a few things that I will need to review later." Jack said, winking at Siani.

She merely laughed; she knew her husband would do just that, repeatedly.

Ianto returned, obviously ready to go as he wore his coat and held Siani's out for her to slip into.

"Ready?" He asked the couple.

They both nodded, but then Siani stopped. "I've just remembered I need to get the clothes Tosh bought me."

"I've got them here." Ianto indicated the previously unnoticed bag at his feet. They all started to head for the cog door, but once again Siani stopped.

"Oh, I forgot! What about the Doctor? We can't just leave him here."

Owen called out. "Don't worry about it, he staying with me," just as Ianto muttered, "Why not?"

Jack just shook his head. His Yan had become very protective and it was extremely sexy!

"But what about -"

Siani was interrupted by Ianto bending down a picking her up in a fireman's carry and heady out the door.

She yelped in surprise and Jack grinned as he followed them out the door.

The Doctor, Tosh, and Owen listened as the trio made their way out of the hub.

"Ianto Gareth Jones, you put me down!" Came the muffled voice of Siani. They could hear Jack's boisterous laughter and Ianto's chuckle. Then they heard a loud smack, followed immediately by a loud "eep!"

"You did not just -! *smack*

"Ouch!" They heard Ianto say.

Just before they walked out of the Tourist Office door they heard Jack say, "No fair! Nobody has smacked my ass yet, and I haven't gotten to spank either of you!"

The two doctors rolled their eyes and Tosh laughed as the trio made their way into the Cardiff night.

Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008, Tesco's

Ianto decided to keep their destination a surprise from Jack until they arrived; so they stopped off at the Tesco's closest to the Hub to pick up groceries and other items. He began to shop as he always did, no fuss, going directly to the items on his mental checklist.

He should have known better however, not only was he shopping with Jack (always an ordeal), but Siani had never been to a supermarket on earth. It took them twenty minutes to get out of the produce section.

"Ooo, what's that?" Siani took off down an aisle once again.

Ianto sighed as Jack just grinned at him and followed after her. He decided to get the rest on his own and then tracked down the other two who were in the personal hygiene section.

"But how does it work?" Ianto heard Siani asking Jack as he pulled the cart up next to him. She was holding up a package of fluorescent colored condoms.

Noticing Ianto, Jack said grinning, "Yan, you want to tackle this one?"

Siani turned to him, very serious, awaiting his explanation. Blushing, he turned the package over to show her the directions.

"Well, you see here - you um, well that is to say that - well, during sex one -"

Jack was snickering on Siani's right as she listened intently to Ianto's rambling. Ianto glared at him.

He's going on decaf for this.

"It is placed - Jack, shut the hell up!"

Unable to contain himself any longer, Jack burst out laughing, startling an elderly woman at the end of the aisle who scowled at him. Smiling in apology, he filled in the gaps from Ianto's less than helpful explanation.

"So you're saying that people use this to prevent pregnancy." Siani said skeptically, addressing the two men. They nodded in response.

"That and to prevent the spread of disease."

She wrinkled her nose. "Well that I understand, but why would people want to prevent pregnancy? Why wouldn't they want children? It can't happen unless people are bonded anyway."

Siani was very confused by this aspect of 21st century earth society.

"It's not the same in this time mela." Jack replied. "Pregnancy can occur at any time that the necessary reproductive elements are in place, no bonds necessary."

Siani looked at him horrified. "But, that would mean that children could be born without all their parents, without a family!"

"Sadly, yes, it happens quite often here. There are many single parents that do their very best; it can be difficult, but many do a wonderful job on their own."

"Sorry," Ianto interrupted. "But why is this so startling? Surely there are still unplanned pregnancies in the future. And what did you mean by all their parents? Don't you mean both?" Ianto asked as they continued to stand in the aisle.

Normally standing for an extended period of time near the condoms and feminine hygiene products was not something Ianto would do, but he saw this as an opportunity to finally get some answers out of his reticent companions.

Jack and Siani were both shaking their heads. Siani picked up a box of tampons and upon reading the carton, grimaced, quickly returning them to the shelf. Ianto was pretty sure he heard a muttered, "barbaric."

Jack explained, "No. She really does mean all. In our time polyandrous relationships are very common. Most children have more than just two parents. Families are large, thriving things, and are almost always very happy."

Ignoring the odd looks they were receiving for being stationed in the prophylactics section for so long, Ianto asked, "How is that possible? It seems that there are far more unhappy families than happy ones." He said, thinking of his own, less than happy childhood, and choosing for a moment to ignore the scientific impossibility of more than two biological parents. "How can that change so drastically when you're still dealing with human relationships?"

Siani answered him, "It's because of the bonding. Children cannot be conceived at all outside of a bond; everyone who becomes pregnant wants to be. Now bonds of more than two people do occur, as in our case, but they are not quite as common as couple bonds. Most people have a different kind of bond from ours and search for their bondmates for many years, but in the meantime will also marry other non-bonded people to form family units. This is done for safety, companionship, and adds stability to the Empire. It's highly encouraged by the Council. Many times after that, one or more of those people will meet their bondmate. Most of the time the bondmate is included in the family unit already formed, and then children are introduced; though some do split off on their own on occasion, but that is rare."

Ianto's brows elevated higher and higher as Siani explained.

"Wow, okay. But I still don't understand how that leads to happy families. The bondmates, I think I understand why they would be happy; but, adding others into the mix like that just seems like a recipe for disaster."

"You would think," Jack said. "But the physical and emotional benefits brought to those in the family are so great that it far outweighs any bits of conflict that might arise. Of course, family units like Siani described are the most common, but they are not the only families that are formed."

At this point Siani finally returned the condoms to the shelf and turned back to the boys.

"Um, do you not need those?" Ianto asked Siani uncomfortably. "I know you said you don't need them for contraception, but . . ."

Siani and Jack both raised their eyebrows, unconsciously imitating their young companion. Siani grinned; she was really enjoying making Ianto blush.

"Nope! You two have only been sleeping with each other right?" She looked between both men.

Ianto dropped his eyes as he nodded in confirmation, partly out of guilt and partly dreading Jack's response to that question.

Jack spoke enthusiastically though, "Yep! Trust me; I'm a one Welshman kind of guy!"

Ianto's head snapped up and Jack turned to look at him. He found Ianto searching his face, clearly trying to decide whether or not to believe him. It truly broke his heart.

He thinks I've been sleeping around this whole time. Even after I told everyone that I've only slept with two, maybe three people. Goddess, what have I done to him? Have I hurt him so much that he doubts everything I say?

Watching the two men, Siani decided to intervene. "So are we ready?"

Both men just nodded, each so lost in their own thoughts that they paid no attention to Siani adding several things she found interesting into the cart.

Fairy Cakes? Do they kill faeries for food here? Weird. Ooo, a stuffed dragon! We need this for when the bab- No, stop it! Chocolate biscuits, oh we are getting those!

They didn't speak beyond thanking the cashier, who starred blatantly at the gorgeous trio, until they exited the shop. Ianto stopped to hail a cab.

"Aren't we walking?" Asked Jack.

"No," Ianto replied. "I thought we'd take a cab tonight, too much of a walk."

"Alright," Jack replied, believing that Ianto was just being considerate of his wife.

As they waited for a cab Ianto turned back and asked, "So these other families you mentioned, what are they? And how is it most people's bonds are different from yours?"

Jack and Siani glanced at each other.

See, never misses anything.

I know, it's scary! Makes me wonder how much he's let me think I got away with something when he actually knew all about it!

Probably every time.

Damn! I guess that means I should stop trying to hide the crisps and biscuits in my office then?

Oh yeah, he did mention those. Said he was pissed about having to clean crumbs out of your filing cabinet.Can they talk to each other without speaking? That would be awesome, or awful, I'm not sure.

Though the concept intrigued him, it also caused his heart to ache. And a heavy cloud of despair descended upon him, making him feel even more cut-off from the two people he loved.

Siani finally broke the silence, startling Ianto out of his internal funk.

"Our bond is very different from most others, it is very rare. Most bonds-" She was interrupted by a cab finally pulling up to the curb.

Jack opened the door and hopped in first with the bags he carried, and pulled Siani in behind him.

"Come on Yan!" Jack said leaning forward to see him.

Ianto climbed in the cab and Jack started to give his address.

"Actually, we need to go the 36 Tynged-Dragwyddol, Pontcanna. Ta."

"Where are we going?" Jack asked curiously.

"You'll see!" Siani smiled. She knew Jack hated not knowing things, but hopefully he would last until they got to the house.

I'm going home! For the first time in over fifty years I'm going home, our real home!

Ianto leaned over, asking quietly, "So you were saying that most bonds . . ."

Siani hesitated; she felt the cab driver glancing at them curiously, paying far too close attention to continue their conversation. She didn't think about the fact that he was actually looking because Jack had his arm around her playing with the hair at the nape of Ianto's neck, while she had her left hand on his thigh and held tightly to Yan's hand with her right.

"We'll talk about it at home." She replied.

They drove through the streets of Cardiff in silence. Siani watched the city go by intently, excited with her new life. There were so many things she had never seen before, things she had only read about. Her travels with the Agency had never taken her to this time period, so it was all the more fascinating for her.

 

36 Tynged-Dragwyddol, Pontcanna, Cardiff

Once they had finally arrived, Jack paid the driver and stepped out of the cab. He reached in to help his wife out and waited for Ianto to join them. They were standing in front of a large Victorian style townhouse, with what looked to be a lovely side garden extending out behind the house. There were large bay windows in front and a bit more space in between it and the neighboring house than you typically find in Cardiff. It was truly a lovely house.

"Oh Yan!" Siani exclaimed, hugging his arm. "It's gorgeous! You did such a fantastic job!"

Ianto smiled at her exuberance and glanced over at Jack who looked frustrated.

"Can someone tell me where we are?" Jack asked peevishly.

"Oh course sir." Ianto said genuinely. "Welcome to my home."

"Huh?"

Siani laughed. "You're so suave and articulate dear." To Ianto she said in a stage whisper, "It's why I fell in love with him you know, eloquence."

Grinning with her conspiratorially Ianto said, "I'm sorry to say that it seems to have diminished somewhat. You may have got a bad deal out of this one."

"Hey!" Jack pouted with his hands on his hips. "No ganging up on sexy Captains, at least not while you're fully clothed!"

Struggling to maintain her composure Siani replied, "Hmm, quite. That's too bad, he was actually halfway decent. Guess I'll have to trade up to a Welshman!"

By now Jack was smiling and Ianto was blushing. His blush only deepened as Siani stretched to kiss his cheek.

"Alright," Jack interrupted. "Ha ha, very funny. I'll get you for that halfway decent comment, it sounds to me that you could use a refresher, because your memory is clearly shot. Can we go inside? Then you can catch me up since I'm apparently the last to know about this place."

"Of course. Shall we?" Ianto offered his arm to Siani and they proceeded up the walk. Jack followed behind, admiring the view.

I really have to give Tosh a raise. Not to mention Ianto's tailor, yum!

On the way in Ianto began to tell them about all the additions he had made to the house. He unlocked the heavy oak door and ushered them inside, suddenly feeling nervous.

Siani looked around in awe, everything was so beautiful. The entryway had a gorgeous stained-glass door leading to a hallway with dark wood flooring and royal purple walls with white crown molding. To the left was the sitting room with formal, yet comfortable looking furnishings, the front window looked out onto the park across the street. The staircase was further down the hall to the right and had an intricately carved banister. Siani walked about taking it all in, she had never seen anything like it. The Hub with its monochromatic colors, technology, and metal was closer to what she was accustomed to, this was sheer opulence compared to her family's home on Eternity and even the comfortable home she had shared with Jack.

". . . and in the master I put in the oversized jacuzzi you suggested, Isi." Ianto was continuing his description as they put the groceries away in the warmly decorated kitchen.

"Jacuzzi!" Jack exclaimed and immediately took off for the stairs.

"Jack!" Both Ianto and Siani yelled. It was no use; they could already hear the water running and see the scattered clothes leading up the stars.

"Let's get it onnnn . . ." They heard Jack singing upstairs.

Ianto rolled his eyes and blushed for the hundredth time that night. He looked shyly at Siani and shrugged his shoulders. Her only reply was a Cheshire cat grin. She grabbed his hand and pulled him toward the staircase.

"Wait, what are we doing?" He hesitated, knowing full well what he wanted to do.

"Just taking a bath Mr. Jones, that's all." Siani emphasized her point by stripping off her top and tossing it at Ianto's head. He caught it easily as he stood in shock halfway up the stairs. Ianto stared after the vision in front of him in a daze. The black lace bra that landed on his head snapped him out of his stupor.

Staring at it as though he had never seen a bra before, Ianto stood, debating whether or not he was expected to follow. And if he was, what did that mean? He felt a small niggling at the back of his mind, the kind that happened when he knew the answer to something, but just couldn't quite grasp it.

"Yan-to!" Jack bellowed from the bath. "Your jacuzzi is lacking a hot Welshman, hurry up!"

Ianto heard Siani giggle, followed by a large splash.

"Hey, you're lucky you're still recovering! Just wait woman! Ouch!"

Throwing caution to the wind Ianto continued up the steps, picking up discarded articles of clothing as he went. He entered the master bedroom and deposited all the clothes on the bed, followed by his own.

He hesitated another moment before saying, "What the hell, go with it Ianto." He then walked into the bathroom, and was greeted by two very wet and happy Harknesses.

Chapter Text

Chapter 9 - Putting It Together

Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008 - 36 Tynged-Dragwyddol

Ianto was blushing profusely as he stepped into the bathroom to join Jack and Siani.

Once he mustered the courage to lift his eyes from the floor he couldn't help but laugh aloud. What he assumed would be an awkward communal bath seemed to have turned into playtime. He could barely see Jack and Siani's heads over the bubbles.

"How much bubble bath did you use Jack?" He asked, laughing as Siani gave him a bubble beard.

"Why? I only used one bottle, I swear!" Jack seemed genuinely puzzled.

Standing with his hands on his hips, distracted from his own nudity by the spectacle in front of him he continued, "One normally only uses a few caps full, not an entire bottle."

"Oh," Jack replied sheepishly. "That would explain the extra bubbles then!"

He grinned at Ianto, who responded with his customary eye roll.

Siani on the other hand, sat transfixed during their exchange. She stared unabashedly at Ianto's lean, muscled form, mouth dry and heart pounding.

Jack finally noticed his wife's silence and turned his attention toward her. She was staring at Ianto as if she had never seen a naked man before; if it were anyone else he would have been insanely jealous. This however seemed a perfect opportunity to move things along.

"Mela, close your mouth. I know he's gorgeous, but he doesn't like us to stare."

Jack winked at Ianto who blushed again as he remembered his nakedness. He shifted uncomfortably, and began to question the wisdom of joining them after all.

"No he's not." Siani said, she said dazedly as she continued to gaze up and down.

Ianto felt his heart break, his fears confirmed. He began to withdraw into himself.

I should have known better. You're so bloody stupid Ianto, why would they want anything to do with you? You're skinny and ugly and good for nothing. Tad was right all along.

His self-flagellation was interrupted when Siani continued.

"He's not simply gorgeous Shae, he's gloriously beautiful!"

Siani finally meet Ianto's disbelieving eyes which managed to snap her out of her lust-filled stupor.

"You don't believe that do you Yan?" She asked gently.

Jack watched Ianto intently, wishing he would say yes, that he knew that, and that Jack made him feel that way. But he was seeing more each moment how much damage he had caused his beloved.

Ianto's only reply was a terse, single shake of the head.

He heard splashing and turned back to the tub to see an unsteady bubble-covered Siani attempt to stand in the tub. Thinking only of her safety, he reached out and grasped her waist to keep her from falling.

Trying to ignore the feel of her silky skin under his hands and how the bubbles continued to slide down her body, he forced himself to meet her gaze.

Siani reached up to cradle the side of his face and gently stroked his cheek. She ran her gaze over his entire face, drinking in his masculine beauty.

"You are so unbelievably beautiful." She began. Ianto looked off to the side.

"Hey." She said, drawing his attention back to her. "I mean it; I have never met anyone else like you Yan. You have the sweetest, most generous spirit. You love completely, and you are utterly devoted to those you give your heart. You have the most amazing blue eyes; you and Jack make me jealous in that aspect. I love your hair, the way it curls; the way it's so much softer than it looks. You have amazing bone structure. Your cheekbones are insane, and your jawline is so strong and masculine. And gods, your body is amazing! But it's your lips that draw me in; so soft, perfectly proportioned, and entirely too hard to resist."

She shocked the already befuddled man by pulling him to her and claiming his lips with her own. Siani kissed him passionately and without restraint.

His world narrowed down to her lips on his and her breasts pressed into his chest as he stood frozen. After a few seconds though he began to return her increasingly heated kiss, and ran his hands along her body.

He became aware of the sensations coursing through him; all of those clichés of fireworks and tingles, he felt them. The only other time he felt this way was with Jack. At first he thought it might be their 51st century pheromones, but John Hart had kissed him once and he felt nothing but revulsion.

Finally coming back to himself and remembering that he was making out with a married woman in front of her husband, he gently pulled back.

"What was that?" Ianto asked as he looked at Jack guiltily.

He was surprised again however; Jack was not looking at him with rage as he had looked at the Doctor earlier. His face was flushed and his gaze heated.

Siani blushed, "That was me giving in to years of temptation."

Ianto looked at Jack again. "Jack, I-"

Jack held up his hand, stopping Ianto's apology. He shook his head and smiled at the younger man, a true, genuine smile, not the leering grin he showed everyone else.

"Nothing to be sorry for, that was the hottest thing I've ever seen; and something I hope to see very often!"

Ianto looked at him confused.

"But-" Ianto stopped when he saw Siani start to tremble, whether from the cold or weakness he couldn't tell.

"You should sit down Siani. Here." He grasped her hands and helped her sink back into the over-sized Jacuzzi.

Siani didn't let go of his hands though. "Come on Yan, as much as I'm enjoying you out of the water it's a little chilly, and I want to keep you warm."

She grinned at him, letting her eyes slide down to rest on his half-hard erection.

Flushing even brighter than before when he saw where she was looking (Jack was as well, but Jack always did that). He still felt uncertain, so he hesitated.

"Really Yan, it's okay. Get in here." Jack told him seriously.

Ianto finally stepped into the tub and sat at the opposite side of the circle from the Harknesses, only to have Siani tug him toward them.

"Don't sit all the way over there. Now that we're all here we can talk." She said in a business-like voice.

Ianto was sure that this was by far the most unusual setting for a meeting yet. He felt a little safer looking at them both now that Siani was seated and the bubbles covered most of her chest.

"Okay, we're really going to do this in the bath?" Ianto asked.

"Of course," Jack replied with a grin. "Serious conversations should always be in the Jacuzzi. We should make that a rule!"

Ianto rolled his eyes as Siani smiled at her husband.

"Ask us anything you want, I mean anything. We will answer your questions honestly." Jack told him.

Ianto looked back and forth between the two. They were smiling at him, naked, wet, and covered in bubbles. It was thoroughly distracting.

And I thought my life couldn't get any weirder!

"Alright. Back to the question I asked in the cab I guess. Why is your bond different from others?"

Jack and Siani glanced at each other before Jack nodded at her slightly. Siani began to explain.

"Well, we told you why the bonds began and how most families are formed in our time. The thing to understand about those other bonds is that they are more flexible."

She frowned, trying to think of the best way to explain.

"Some bonds are polyamorous, most are not. The strange thing though is that a person in those bonds is not destined for one, or however many people are in the bond, specific individual."

"Then what is the purpose of bonding?" Ianto asked. "That sounds just like today."

"It's much better than today really. Even when they aren't meant for only one person, they are potentially meant for only a few. Oh, I'm not explaining this right!"

Jack took her hand. "What Siani is saying Yan is that there are several people that would complement those individuals biologically and emotionally. Therefore, they could be bonded to any one of those select few and be just as happy and productive. They can also have others partners aside from their bonded, as with the family units we told you about."

Ianto reached over to turn on the jets.

"Ooo! That's fantastic!" Siani exclaimed, grinning at him.

He smiled back before replying. "Alright. I think I understand that; there are say five possible matches that are equally good, and they can choose any one of them. Right?"

"Exactly!" Siani said as she threw her hands in the air, accidentally splashing the two men. "Oops."

They both glared at her playfully as they wiped off their faces.

"You'll be punished later." Jack said with a wink. Siani stuck her tongue out at him.

"Anyway," Jack continued. "Our bond is very different from that. Bonds like ours are rare, and are actually considered a curse by many."

A dark look passed over Siani's face and Jack caressed the side of her face.

Ianto looked at her with concern but she just shook her head and smiled.

"Why is it considered a curse?" He asked.

Siani replied. "We have only one, or as in our case two, mates throughout the entirety of time and space. Most people with this type of bond never find their mate, and they die heartbroken and alone. You see, we are unable to take other partners so long as the bond is felt. Normally that would be as long as the mate lives. Though it's never an issue because most mates die within a very short time of one another. We were very fortunate to find each other, and even more unbelievably fortunate now."

Ianto nodded, thinking that she was referring to their reunion.

He's still not getting it! I think you're going to have to spell it out for him Jack. He won't believe it otherwise.

Yeah, you're right. He just doesn't see how amazing he is, and that's my fault.

Jack internally remonstrated himself. Siani's silence confirmed that she agreed, but was not going to heap any more blame on him.

No use sulking. I need to make him understand. Jack thought to himself.

Ianto was staring off to the side, his gaze unfocused. He thought of how difficult it must have been to learn that you were part of such a bond; and then how thrilled you would be to find even one of your mates.

It must be amazing to find that person who is absolutely right for you, who loves you completely, who is loyal to you and would do anything for you.

His thoughts were interrupted by Jack.

"Well, we're even more fortunate that we can start a family soon." He grinned.

That should do it!

Ianto was startled. They had found their third mate?

Oh God! Who is it? Don't let it be someone I know! I can't watch them with someone else. At least with just the two of them I could be happy that the two people I love are happy together, but someone else with them? Agh!

Not daring to look at either of them he said, "Oh, so you've discovered who your other mate is then?"

Siani was watching him closely, disappointed that he still wasn't catching on.

"Yep!" Jack said. "He's amazing; smart, funny as hell, gorgeous, talented, greatest ass I've ever seen!"

Jack was watching him as well, waiting for it to finally click, but as he watched he noticed Ianto swallow hard, and he seemed to be fighting back tears. Jack frowned.

"I really shouldn't be in here." He said, moving to get out. "It's not right, you've found your other mate, it's not right that I'm in here like this."

"Oh for the sake of the gods!" Siani exclaimed.

*Smack* She reached forward and slapped Ianto's bum as he attempted to get out of the tub.

He froze, shocked, and turned to look at her. She was frowning at him angrily.

"Sit your arse down, you are not normally this obtuse!"

Ianto obeyed, not even thinking about it.

Jack slid closer to him and grasped the back of his neck.

"Yan, I know I've screwed up, a lot. I tried to push you away because I was scared. I never loved anyone the way I love Isi, until you."

Ianto's head shot up and he searched Jack's eyes to see if he was telling the truth.

Jack continued, pulling him closer on his left while he took Siani's hand with his right.

"Surely though, with everything we've told you, the way Siani has treated you; surely you realize that there could never be anyone else for us but you." He said passionately.

Ianto's jaw dropped. His ears flooded with white noise. It felt as if his brain shut down.

Siani smiled at him softly and gently pushed his mouth closed while Jack continued to hold him.

"Yan?" She waved a hand in front of him. "Yan? I think you broke him Jack."

"I think I know how to wake him up!" He said with a grin and pulled her forward.

They both leaned toward Ianto and met him in a three-way kiss. Each of them tried to show him in that kiss how much they wanted him, how they loved him, how they would never leave him.

Upon feeling their lips joining with his, Ianto snapped out of his shock-induced stupor. He hesitated, afraid to believe what he was seeing and feeling, but as Jack and Siani continued to kiss him he began to feel as if he could sense them. It wasn't their thoughts as much as their emotions projecting out at him. He felt overwhelmed by love, tenderness, regret, joy, lust, and fear.

All of this bombarded him and brought tears to his eyes. Ending the kiss he pulled back slightly to see their anxious faces. They both looked hopeful and completely terrified.

They really mean it. I'm their mate! Well shit, now looking back I see they were trying to tell me all along. Why are they afraid though? Do they think I would reject them? They do! They're really afraid that I'll reject them!

"Um," He started out eloquently. "Just so we're clear, you're saying I'm your mate?"

Both of them nodded their heads and said, "Yes!"

"Okay."

Jack and Siani waited for him to continue. After a moment they realized he still wasn't saying anything.

Siani finally said, "Okay? Okay what? Okay, let's have hot steamy sex and make lots of babies or okay, get the hell out of my house you pair of psychos?"

"Well, I like the first option better, but I think we should at least wait until we're married, for the babies anyway."

Ianto immediately found himself tackled into the tub by two ecstatic Harknesses. This lead to a fantastic water fight/make-out session which left the floor drenched and the trio giggling like school girls.

Chapter Text

Chapter 10 - Now What?

Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008 - 36 Tynged-Dragwyddol

Sometime later a very pruney, yet giddy trio emerged from the bath. Thankfully they managed to mop up the lake that had formed on the bathroom floor before it flooded the rest of the house. Now they lay atop the king size bed of the master bedroom curled around each other on a mound of pillows. Jack lay in only his boxer briefs, while Siani wore the matching button-down top to the red pajama pants Ianto was wearing.

"So what happens now?" Ianto asked from where he lay on the left side of the bed, halfway on top of Siani.

"How do you mean?" Jack asked, lifting his head from Siani's stomach.

Ianto sighed and rolled back to lean on his right arm as Jack and Siani watched him intently.

"I mean, how does this work? This is the 21st century, polyandrous relationships are not socially acceptable, let alone legal. We can't get married here. Oh God, what am I going to tell my sister? What are we going to tell the team? And shit, what happens when I get old and wrinkly, and die?"

By this time Ianto had worked himself into quite a state. Siani sat up quickly, causing Jack to roll off of her with an exaggerated "umph," and interrupted Ianto's rant with a kiss.

Ianto was startled, but was easily distracted by the scantily clad woman on his bed. He felt Jack move behind him and begin to place wet open-mouth kisses up his back and to his neck, taking advantage of his semi-naked state. Eventually Ianto managed to reluctantly break away from Siani's lips. All three were breathing heavily and evidence of Jack and Ianto's arousals was clearly on display.

"Alright, lovely. What was happening?" Ianto asked, completely befuddled.

Siani grinned at him, "I was distracting you from an imminent panic attack."

"Right, okay thanks, can I go back to panicking now?" He ran his hand through his hair.

"Nope." Jack replied. "That's not allowed. This incredibly lovely, roomy bed is a happy space. A very happy space, lots of happy things will take place here. No negative thoughts allowed." He grinned and gave them both a salacious wink.

They both rolled their eyes in tandem.

"Actually," Siani said, as she saw that Ianto was about to begin again. "Why don't we go downstairs, Yan, you promised me coffee. Then we can discuss all of this and come up with some solutions. Right, perfect, come along boys."

She crawled off of the massive mahogany four poster bed and started for the stairs, not bothering with any more clothes than she was wearing.

Ianto and Jack looked at each other, realizing they had just been summoned. With a shrug from Ianto and a smirk from Jack, they both made to follow after her. Jack reached for Ianto's hand before he started down the stairs, halting them both.

He drew Ianto's hand in between both of his and placed a kiss on the back of it before bringing it to rest over his heart. Ianto simply smiled and raised a brow at Jack's tender gesture.

"Yan, there are a lot of things that we all need to discuss, all those issues you brought up earlier. But after all of that is resolved, I'd like for you and I to talk. I've done some really shitty things, and I've made you doubt me, my feelings for you, and how important you are to me. I know I've hurt you, and I want to begin to make up for that, if you'll let me."

Jack paused, pulling Ianto into his arms and looking at his conflicted face intently.

"I do love you Yan, so bloody much that it hurts. That's a big part of why I did the things I did, I'm not trying to make excuses, it's just that the thought of losing you tormented me. I had thought that I had already lost Isi, and the thought of losing you too was just too much, and so I tried to distance myself. Stupid, I know, but - I, I just couldn't imagine facing an eternity without you."

Jack leaned forward, placing his forehead against Ianto's as tears streamed down his cheeks unchecked.

Ianto was struggling to hold in his own tears, thinking of all the heartache and doubt he had endured because of this man; all the times he felt alone and invisible, or like a stand-in for Gwen. But as he contemplated what Jack said, he felt a peace begin to settle over him as he realized that none of that mattered anymore; yes, these were things they needed to resolve between them, but all of that pain that he had felt because of Jack's actions, it was worth it. This . . . this new-found tenderness, this openness and understanding between them; this was a new beginning, a fresh start for all three of them, and Ianto would be damned before he let the issues of the past harm what was growing between them. Because even though he had concerns about logistics, he knew that this was exactly where he was meant to be; these two souls were meant for his. He had always felt that with Jack, but so many things clouded it, now they could start anew.

Ianto reached up to cradle Jack's face in his hands, wiping his tears away with his thumbs as tears fell down his own face. Jack looked at him hopefully, for once allowing all that he felt for this man to show as he looked into those pools of blue. Ianto leaned forward and captured Jack's mouth in a kiss; it was intense and filled with love, longing and forgiveness, at least that's what Ianto tried to convey through it. After several moments he pulled back, then leaned in again for one more short, soft kiss.

"I love you too." He said.

Jack's eyes lit up as Ianto confessed his feelings aloud for the first time. They both grinned widely before kissing once more.

"I love you -" Jack kissed him again, "I love you -" and again. This would have continued on for quite some time had Siani not interrupted from downstairs.

"Hey sexies, I'm still recovering, I need magic Ianto coffee!" Unknown to both men she had been standing at the base of the stairs crying happy tears during their conversation.

"Yes, annwyl. We'll be right down." Ianto said.

The two men smiled widely at one another before joining their hands and proceeding down the stairs and into the kitchen where Siani sat atop the counter. Siani beamed at them both, so incandescently happy to see them working things out.

"Alright, let's get some coffee in you, and then some food." Ianto said walking toward her perch. "But first, I'm going to have to relocate you. You've come between me and Glennda, you must be removed!"

"Ha," she replied to Ianto's uncharacteristically light banter. "I just got here an already there's some other bint! She better be something special or else I may have to deal with her."

Jack laughed as he watched the two of them flirt. After so many long years, everything that he had always wanted was right before him. It was absolutely thrilling and at the same time caused his heart to clench with fear.

The sooner we bond the better, Ianto will be safer then. God help anyone that tries to take them from me. I will not hesitate to protect what is mine, I will be selfish this time and damn the consequences.

His attention was pulled back by laughter as Ianto lifted Siani off of the counter and onto his back where she stayed, refusing to move while he prepared the coffee.

". . . see, then you grind them all together in this." Ianto explained.

"Why do you use so many different kinds, why not just use one type at a time?" Siani questioned.

Jack smiled, remembering when he had asked Ianto the very same thing one morning in his apartment.

"Because-" Ianto was interrupted by Jack.

"Because the different beans all have unique flavors and blending them together is what creates a brew with real depth and character." He winked at Ianto as he walked over to stand beside the other two in front of the coffee machine. "Did I get that right Yan?"

Ianto harrumphed, and Siani laughed at his irritation.

"Yes that is right, but you left out the part about boldness. If you're going to steal my lines at least get them right Jack." He grinned.

"Cheeky, I love it!"

Jack smacked a kiss on Ianto's lips, and then his wife's who had been distracted by how kissable Ianto's jaw was.

"Come along woman, stop playing with him and extract yourself from the hot Welshman. Help me choose something for dinner." Jack said as he lifted her from Ianto's back only to receive a smack.

"Quit calling me woman! And I was busy mapping Yan."

Ianto blushed and smiled as his two loves bantered. Siani stood with her hands on her hips glaring playfully up at her husband who towered a whole head above her. He grinned back at her, before leading her to sit at the breakfast bar.

"Don't worry about that," he stage whispered to her. "I've got the roadmap all up here," he tapped his temple. "I'll give you directions later. I know every valley, peak, and crevice, trust me!"

Siani and Jack laughed and grinned at their Welshman. His back was turned toward them, but it they could clearly see his blush.

Ianto brought their coffees to them before going back to retrieve his own, and settling next to Siani at the bar.

"I don't know which is more disturbing, being compared to topography, or being turned on by it." Ianto said smiling.

"Hmm, neither." Siani said, as she reached over and took his hand in hers, and set them on the granite bar.

"Ooo, let's order a curry!" Jack said excitedly. Both Siani and Ianto raised a brow at his enthusiasm. "What? They curry place not far from here is fantastic and we never get the chance to eat there."

"We need to make it something healthy Jack. Siani is still healing and she needs healthy food." He ignored the face Siani pulled at his insistence upon healthy food.

"How about Chinese? Steamed rice and veg, some miso soup?" Ianto asked the other two.

"Fine, no curry tonight." Jack pouted at Ianto who rolled his eyes and picked up his phone to call in their order.

Jack turned to Siani while Ianto was ordering. "Once you're feeling better and ready for spicier foods we'll have curry. You'll love it, it reminds me a bit of the food we had during our honeymoon on Florana."

"That sounds fantastic, I can't wait to try it!" She answered enthusiastically.

"Alright, the food should be here in 30 to 45 minutes. Let's finish up these," Ianto indicated their coffees. "And I'll show you both the rest of the house."

"Sounds great!" Jack said as he went to savour the special coffee Ianto made.

Oh, he broke out the good stuff!

Siani had yet to drink her coffee, she sat holding it and breathing in the aroma not even realizing that she had begun to cry.

Ianto and Jack did notice however, and were immediately concerned.

"Isi, why are you crying?" Jack asked.

"What's wrong Isi? Is it too hot, give it here I'll cool it down. Do you want more cream and sugar? I -" Ianto was clearly panicking.

Finally realizing that she was crying and distressing her mates, Siani placed her coffee on the counter before, wiping the tears from her face. She stopped Ianto from taking her cup away.

"No, I'm fine, it's fine really." She said, and they looked at her in disbelief.

"If you're fine, why were you crying?" Jack insisted.

"I'm sorry," she said, smiling at them both. "I'm just so happy right now. I'm here, with both of you beside me arguing over what to have for dinner, when just a week ago I was in a hell-hole 3,000 years in the future. I just can't explain how amazing this all feels."

Jack leaned forward to kiss her and Ianto pulled her into his arms.

"I think we have an idea." Jack said as he pulled back from her lips, looking at his two mates. "Just think, this is only the beginning."

Chapter Text

Chapter 11 - Architecture and Angst

After they had finished their coffees, which took much longer than normal due to Siani's continual exclamations, Ianto showed them around the rest of the house.

He showed them the mudroom off of the kitchen which led to the back garden; then he took them back to the kitchen to show them the adjoining dining room. The large cherry wood table dominated the room, which had a large picture window that overlooked the flowerbeds in the back garden. The walls were painted a bold cranberry and accented with a continuation of the bright white crown molding from the hallway, and traditional wainscoting. Back in the hallway he led them to the formal living area they had passed upon first entering the house. It was a large, open room, warmly decorated with half of the wall space taken up by built-in bookcases.

Siani gazed at her surroundings in amazement.

"This is absolutely wonderful Yan! It's beautiful, and just this floor is bigger than any place I've ever lived. Jack isn't this fantastic?"

Jack simply nodded, remaining uncharacteristically silent as he took in the home Ianto created.

Siani gave him a quizzical look which he ignored.

"You added the bookcases like I suggested!" She smiled at Ianto happily and squeezed his hand.

Smiling back he replied, "Of course I did, it was a great idea! Are you doing alright? Do you need to take a break before I show you the rest?"

Shaking her head Siani replied, "No, I'm great right now, this is so exciting! Lead the way Yan, I'll follow you up the stairs and enjoy the view."

He laughed and blushed as she winked at him. They all started up the stairs to see the next two levels. Both had noted Jack's silence, but they were waiting to see if he would open up about what was obviously bothering him.

"Master bedroom and bath you've already seen, this is a small bedroom here, nothing in there yet." Ianto indicated the room next to the Master, and each of them silently observed that it would make a fantastic nursery.

Next to the nursery was the laundry and another bathroom, and at the end of the hallway a large family room.

"Oh I like this!" Siani said as she flopped down on the fluffy oversized couch. "Oh yeah, I've found my spot!"

Both Jack and Ianto grinned at her enthusiasm.

"Alright, one more floor. Come along woman - ouch!" Ianto exclaimed as she smacked his rear.

"Not you too, quit calling me woman!" She glared at him playfully. He simply smiled back with an innocent expression.

"Let's see the rest then." Jack said in a subdued voice which caught their attention. Without looking back he lead the way up the stairs to the top level where he waited for the other two.

Following behind him, Ianto and Siani grew concerned. He had been just fine a short while ago in the kitchen, and now he was quiet, withdrawn, and brooding.

Reaching out to him through their bond, Siani said:

Shae, what's wrong? You're acting very strangely. Shae?

Her inquiry was met with a brick wall of silence. He had blocked her!

She stumbled on the stairs when she realized what he had done. Ianto reached for her immediately, catching her before she could fall.

"Are you okay? We should stop, this is too much too soon I think." Ianto said with concern.

Her eyes were locked on Jack; he had turned back at the top of the stairs when she tripped, but though he looked away guiltily he maintained his mental silence.

"No," she reassured Ianto. "I just had a clumsy moment, that's all. Let's finish up, the food should be here soon."

"If you're sure . . ." Ianto said.

Siani nodded and continued up the stairs, determined not to let the anger she felt building towards her husband interfere with what should be a special moment for them all.

Ianto showed them the other three bedrooms and two bathrooms on the top floor, then they came to a final room that overlooked the park across the street. It was an office with two desks that sat facing each other.

"This is the last room." Ianto said as he tried to hide the blush that clearly rose on his face.

Siani smiled. She clearly saw what Ianto had done in this room. In this one place in the house Ianto had allowed himself to dream. The room was a combination of Ianto and Jack. The Welsh memorabilia and 19th century antiques Ianto preferred were intermixed with the RAF memorabilia and decor from the 1940s that Jack preferred. It was a beautiful, masculine room, with sepia toned map wallpaper and dark wood.

Jack had pulled up short upon entering the room. His breath caught in his throat as he took in all of the minute details of the room. It was clear to see that Ianto had spent a great deal of time and effort on this room. Jack felt like an ass.

As they had gone through the house Jack had felt the hurt building inside of him. He wondered why Ianto had kept this from him, why he had kept this part of himself from him. It felt as if this house was a place that Ianto had obviously poured himself into creating, but in which Jack had no place. It hurt.

But this, this was something he had never expected. Laid before him was a clear display of Ianto's desire for his presence. This room was them, Jack and Ianto, Ianto and Jack.

The awkward silence that had descended was broken by the ringing of the doorbell.

"I'll get that." Siani said, knowing that her two men needed a few minutes alone.

"I should probably-"

"No Yan, I'll get it. If I can just have enough money to pay them I'll meet you both in the family room whenever you're ready."

Ianto nodded and went to the desk on the left-hand side of the room and pulled out £30.

"This should cover it and the tip. Just yell if you need help, we'll be down shortly." Ianto said as he handed Siani the money. He kissed her cheek as she turned and left the room.

Jack walked around the room silently, running his hands over each item that Ianto had chosen with such care. Ianto gave him a moment, leaning against the doorframe and crossing his arms as he watched Jack examine "their room."

Jack stopped at the bookcase that lined the left wall, and stared at the picture of himself and Ianto on the shelf. It was one he had never seen before, and it was gorgeous. Tosh must have taken it during one of their pub nights. Ianto was wearing his favorite shirt, red of course, and they were pressed together, smiling at each other as if there was no one else around. Jack reached up and touched it gently, and smiled at how good they looked together.

"So are you going to tell me what's bothering you, or are you going to continue to be an ass?" Ianto's voice interrupted his musings.

Looking down guiltily, Jack turned toward Ianto before he moved and sat on the couch situated next to the doorway in which Ianto was standing.

"I was angry."

Ianto pushed off of the doorframe and sat next to Jack.

"Why?"

"You kept this place from me!" Jack said angrily. "You never gave me any indication that this place even existed, yet you were picking out paint colors with Isi! Why didn't you tell me about this, what else aren't you telling me?" Jack knew immediately that he had said the wrong thing.

Ianto stood from the couch and began to pace in front of it.

"I'm going to forget that you said that last part. And initially I didn't realize that Isi wasn't a figment of my own imagination, so don't pull that shit with me! I was going to tell you eventually-"

"When, in twenty years?" Jack interrupted.

"Ha! No it wouldn't have taken that long. I never thought you'd be around for that long anyway."

Jack reared back as if struck. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

"Oh don't pretend to be surprised Jack! You know damn well what I mean. You went to great lengths before you left to insure that I knew exactly what we were, or more what we were not. You made it clear that you didn't want to be tied down, you didn't like labels. So what was I supposed to say when I inherited this place? 'Guess what Jack, I have a nice big house in the suburbs now. Do you want to move in and be a happy family?'" Ianto stopped his pacing and leaned back on the desks.

"But, I came back- I thought that things were different now. I've been trying to show you how much I love you, how much I want you. What did I do wrong?" Jack asked in a defeated tone.

Pushing down the anger and hurt, Ianto sighed and went to join Jack on the couch again.

"Jack, I know you've been trying. I see that. For some time I wasn't sure how to take the 'new you.' But the things in the past and everything with Gwen, it's made me leery of putting myself out there. You broke me Jack. When you left, I can't tell you how alone, hurt, and utterly worthless I felt. I knew you needed answers from the Doctor, I tried to tell myself that was the only reason you left. But a large part of me felt that you were never coming back. You were finally with the man you had waited on for over a century. Why would you ever come back to me?"

"Yan-" Jack reached out and held his hand.

"No Jack, listen. Like I said, I didn't think you were coming back, each day was a struggle just to function. To be perfectly honest, if it weren't for Tosh and Isi, I probably wouldn't be here right now."

Jack gasped sharply and grasped Ianto's hand tightly in both of his own, as if trying to make sure he wouldn't disappear. He struggled to control his breathing, images of Ianto, broken and bleeding on the Valiant flashed through his mind.

Ianto reached over and pulled Jack into his arms as he began to hyperventilate.

"Hey, calm down. I'm right here, it's okay." He held Jack tightly, waiting for him to calm himself.

"Sorry." Jack said softly against Ianto's neck.

"It's alright. Listen, I was going to talk to you about moving in with me this weekend."

"Really?" Jack asked, lifting his head from Ianto's shoulder.

"Yeah." Ianto smiled. "My lease is about to be up on the flat, and I was going to ask if you wanted to move in there or find another flat together."

Jack frowned. "Why a flat? Why not here?"

"Well, the flat is closer to the Hub. I figured it would increase the likelihood of you saying yes if we weren't far from the office. Mostly though, I didn't think you would want this, especially with me. I thought I would take what I could get." Ianto looked out the window, avoiding Jack's gaze.

"Oh Ianto Jones." Jack said sadly as he slid off the couch to kneel in front of him. "I understand now, though nothing could be further from the truth. I can't blame you for not telling me now, that's my fault."

Jack reached up and touched Ianto's face, gently pulling him back to look him in the eyes.

"But hear me now Ianto Gareth Jones, you are the only man in the universe that I love. I came back for you. You are everything that I need, you and Isi are my world. If you want to leave here and live in a hut in the Amazon jungle, I'm there. I want to be here with you both. I want to fill this house with gorgeous dark-haired babies with Welsh accents. And some day when we leave this planet, I'll be right beside you. I love you."

Ianto gazed at Jack, and realized that he had to make a choice. So he chose to let the past go; to let the hurt, and anger, and jealousy go, and to live his life in the here and now. He leaned forward and took Jack's lips in a gentle kiss.

"And I love you." He said as he drew back.

Jack ran his hands up and down Ianto's thighs. "Are we okay?"

"Yeah, we're okay." Ianto said as he smiled at him, leaning forward once more for a brief kiss. "Come on, Isi is waiting for us."

Ianto stood and offered a hand to help Jack up off the floor. Jack groaned once he stood up and placed a hand on his forehead.

"What's wrong?" Ianto asked.

"I'm in so much trouble!" Jack said as he ran his hand down his face.

Ianto was confused by this strange change in behavior.

"What- why are you in trouble?"

Jack looked at him sheepishly. "I might have blocked the mental bond with Isi earlier."

"And this is bad." Ianto stated.

Jack nodded. "Oh yeah it's bad. We swore to each other just after we woke up from the bonding ceremony that we would never do that without letting the other know first. Oh I'm so dead."

Ianto grinned at Jack's dramatics. "Well come along then, you'll at least get a last meal."

Jack was pulled reluctantly from the room and to the stairs by Ianto.

"You think I'm kidding! That woman is the last person in the universe you want to be pissed at you. Trust me, I know! She's sneaky, and she's patient. Whatever happens in there, I love you!"

Ianto just laughed and lead the way into the family room where Siani was waiting. The food was laid out on the coffee table and she had piled pillows around for seating. Jack gulped as he entered the room.

"Better?" Siani's asked evenly.

Ianto nodded and took his seat next to her. Jack smiled sheepishly and sat across from Siani.

Siani returned his smile with an even wider one.

Oh goddesses, I'm so dead!

Oh yes you are my love, yes you are.

Chapter Text

Chapter 12 - Plans and Plotting

"Ugh! No more, I can't eat another bite!" Siani exclaimed as she sprawled out on the family room sofa.

Ianto shook his head. "You hardly ate anything, you need to eat more."

"Yan's right Isi, you need to eat if you're going to put on some weight. Jack added.

"I'm the only woman in the universe whose men tell her to gain weight." Siani mumbled.

"I can't eat anymore right now, I'll be sick. I'll eat more later." She said.

"I'll make sure you do." Ianto said with a raised brow.

"Yes dear." Siani quipped.

"Oi!" She exclaimed as Ianto tossed a fortune cookie toward her.

"So," Jack said. "We should decide where we go from here. I think we should be bonded and married within the next two weeks, this week if we can swing it."

Siani nodded in agreement. The sooner Ianto was fully theirs the better.

She made a face at that thought. That sounds a little psycho now that I think about it!

"Hold up, just a minute." Ianto said. "In case you're forgetting, we can't be legally married here. The bonding thing, not too sure about that, you said the Doctor could perform the ceremony. Most importantly though, nobody has asked me to get married yet."

Jack and Siani looked at each other. "Oh." They said together.

"Well," Siani said. "I hope you plan on something better than a proposal over take-away in your pants."

Siani grinned at Jack's blush. Clearly he was about to just blurt out the question.

"Why does he have to ask me, why not you Isi? Why not both of you? I thought you were both from these über-advanced future societies." Ianto teased.

Siani and Jack laughed and moved the remains of their dinner to the coffee table so that they could all sit together on the sofa. They ended up with Ianto and Siani seated next to each other, Ianto's arm behind her on the sofa, and Jack draped over their laps.

"Comfy now?" Siani asked Jack sarcastically as he wiggled again to find the best position on their laps.

"Very. Now, where were we?"

"You both were about to tell me why Siani insists that you have to propose. What if I decided to ask?"

"It's not about which one of us asks as far as who we are as people, or our gender, or anything like that." Jack explained. "It has to do with the nature of the bond. You see we each have different roles in the bond that determine how certain things must happen, such as proposals."

"So what, we can only do the things that fall under our role?" Ianto asked, not at all liking the sound of that. It all sounded very inhibiting.

Siani shook her head. "No, not like that. We each will obviously take on different roles over time as the situation merits. Sometimes you're the protector, sometimes the nurturer, just like in any other relationship. This really only matters when it comes to the ritual aspect of the bond. Jack is our Peltas', the pivot partner, if you will. He acts as the leader and initiator of the bond."

"So what is your role then?" Ianto asked. This all struck him as extremely fascinating, and not a little confusing.

"I am what is known as the Tua, the helper. Officially it is my responsibility to ensure that Jack has everything he needs to perform his duties."

"And me, what is my place in this crazy little triangle?"

"You, my sexy Welshman," Jack interjected. "Are our long-awaited Telanan. You are our completer, the one that holds us together. So you see gorgeous, we can't make it without you. You're stuck with us for eternity."

Jack and Siani grinned brightly before noticing Ianto's frozen face.

"Um, hello! Yan?" Jack said as he poked Ianto in the stomach.

"You- you said, for et-" Ianto stumbled.

"Ohhh. Yeah, did I not mention that already?"

Ianto shook his head emphatically.

"Well . . ."

"Yan," Siani began as she turned towards Ianto and placed her hand on his chest. "We told you about what happened to me, how I became like Jack because of the bond."

Ianto nodded, but remained silent.

"The same thing will happen to you once we are bonded. The ceremony itself is rather brief, but it is the bonding sleep afterwards that takes time."

"Wow! That's going to take some time to process. Bonding sleep?"

"Yes, you see, once the ceremony is complete, we will fall into a deep sleep. No one knows exactly how long we will remain in the sleep; it takes time for our minds and the other aspects of the bond to fuse together. Some mates come around after an hour or so, others take much longer. Jack and I were out three days when we bonded. Some say that it has to do with the depth of the bond, but there's no real proof of that."

"Wow. Okay. So what else is involved in this ceremony?" Ianto asked, feeling a little overwhelmed with the information that he would live as long as Jack and Siani.

Well that's one less worry I guess, though it adds a million more. Fwc!

"Not much," Siani continued. "Other than selecting your Osta, or protector, that's about it."

"What's this Osta?"

Jack explained. "When we enter the bonding sleep we are vulnerable, so each of us must choose one person to stand as a protector, and the other two must agree with the selection. You see, these people will remain by our sides the entire time that we are asleep. You have to choose someone that you have absolute trust in; that you know would lay down their own life to save yours."

"Huh, that's interesting. Do you both know who you will ask?"

"If we can track him down I do." Siani said.

Jack looked at her, "Really, you're still going with Carad?"

"Carad is your brother right? What's so bad about him that she shouldn't choose him?" Ianto asked apprehensively.

"Well, you've actually met him before Yan." Jack replied. "Although I suppose you really shouldn't judge him based on that meeting. About 95% of what he said and did was an act; he was running an investigation and had to play a part."

"I still can't believe that John fucking Hart is your brother!" He all but yelled.

Siani cringed at his outburst. "Yes. I know he can be an ass, and sometimes seems to be more trouble than he's worth; but most of that is just a show. He's a fantastic actor really."

"Damn well fooled me. So I'm supposed to agree to John Hart guarding us at our most vulnerable? Not bloody likely!" Ianto stated emphatically.

Siani looked away, upset that her brother had been so summarily dismissed, and yet at the same time she understood why Ianto did so. If she were in his position, she would say the same.

Jack nudged her side and smiled before looking up at Ianto. "Yan, I understand why you feel that way, but you've never met the real Carad, you've only met a character he was playing. If we can track him down, please, at least give him a chance. Try to get to know who he really is, I promise you that he is not who you think him to be."

"Fine, I promise to listen. But if he kisses me again, I will shoot him." Ianto said as he ran his fingers through Jack's hair.

Smiling at them both Siani continued, "Thank you. It's important to me that he is part of this, he's my brother; and I know that outside of you two, he would go to the furthest lengths to defend me, even if it meant giving his life. So yeah, he may be a cocky bastard, but he's still my little brother."

"What about you Shae? Who will you choose?" Siani asked, capturing Ianto's attention with the name she used.

"Hmm. I don't know for sure. I might have to ask a couple people some questions first."

"How about you Yan?" Jack asked.

"Wait, what was it that you just called Jack, Isi?"

"You haven't told him yet?" Siani asked Jack in an exasperated tone.

"I forgot!" Jack said as he grinned up at them both sheepishly.

Siani rolled her eyes, in a way that Jack found eerily similar to Ianto.

"Anyway! Shae is a nickname, a diminutive of my real name, Shaeluin. My full name is Shaeluin Alasse', which I officially give you permission to use, in private of course. Both of our names are well-guarded secrets, peoples' lives depend upon keeping them a secret; but we love you and we trust you with them."

Shaeluin. Shaeluin and En' Isilme, and Ianto. Not bad, could be worse.

"Thank you, both of you. I won't let you down, you have my word."

"We know Yan, there is no one we trust more." Siani said before leaning over to kiss him briefly. "Now, back to your choice."

"Well," Ianto cleared his throat and answered as he began to play with Siani's hair. "The first name that comes to mind is Tosh. She's a little dragon, and I know I can trust her to do the job."

"I sense a 'but' in there." Siani said.

Ianto blushed. "I would really like it to be Rhiannon, she's the only family I have left. I know she would defend me with her life, I just don't know how she will take the whole triad business."

"How about we do this; you go ahead and ask Rhiannon, I think it's time for full disclosure with her."

"Wait, full disclosure? As in Torchwood, 51st Century, immortality, full disclosure?" Ianto asked and his voice sounded a little panicked.

"Yeah, if you think she can be trusted with the information, then you have my authorization. She'll be family, we don't keep secrets from family. You need to hold on to the family you have while they're still around." Jack said as his eyes filled with pain.

Siani squeezed his hand in silent support, there would be time to tell Ianto about Grey, but this wasn't that time.

"Alright, that should be a lovely conversation." Ianto said sarcastically.

"Well, if Rhiannon agrees to stand for you, I'll ask Tosh. That will save me from a long and surely exhausting conversation with the Doctor." Jack said.

"You know he's still going to want to do it don't you." Siani said, to which Ianto frowned. The Doctor was still on his list.

"I know he will, but- there's just too much that has happened. If it were me alone, I would probably ask him, but with all three of us . . . well, I just can't put your lives in his hands."

Ianto and Siani chose not to comment, knowing that expressing his doubts about the Doctor was a difficult thing for Jack.

"Alright," Jack said as he sat up off of Siani and Ianto's laps. "That's settled then, now why don't we head back to the bedroom? I think it's well past time for us to focus on something more pleasurable."

Jack grinned as he leaned forward to capture first Siani and then Ianto's lips in a heated kiss.

"Sorry Shae, but that's not possible." Siani smirked internally.

Let the revenge begin! Bwaa haa haaaaa! Ooo, that was creepy!

Both Jack and Ianto frowned at her, clearly turned on and ready to follow Jack's suggestion.

"If you remember, the bond won't allow it, not until after the ceremony. We've all stated our acceptance of the bond, there's nothing we can do about it."

Ianto's jaw dropped and Jack groaned.

"So no sex until after the ceremony?" Ianto asked.

"Unfortunately yes."

Jack just continued to groan.

"Shit! And you still haven't even asked me to marry you yet!" Ianto exclaimed. "Hurry up!"

"We're going to die!" Jack moaned. "Who was the sadistic bastard that thought that up? They are going to keep me from having sex with the two hottest people in the universe for weeks! I-am-going-to-die!"

Ianto nodded his head, agreeing with Jack.

"Oh, both of you shut up! I haven't had sex in more than fifty years, if I can wait a few more weeks then you sure as hell can too." Siani huffed as she stood and began to gather the containers on the coffee table, inwardly grinning. Though she and Ianto would be suffering alongside him, she knew that this would be extremely difficult for Jack. When Jack was used to regular sex, he became an absolute bear when deprived.

Dejected, they all finished clearing away the garbage and cleaned up the kitchen. All the while, Ianto looked as though someone had stolen his coffee machine, and Jack walked around muttering about "blue balls" and how "sexual frustration is bad for the health."

Later on as they lay curled around each other in bed, Siani remembered the one thing they had not solved.

"We forgot about getting married here. How are we going to be able to do that? I suppose the Doctor could take us somewhere."

"No," Jack said as he lifted his head to look at the other two. "This is our home. This is where Yan's family is and our friends are, we will get married here."

"Yeah, but how Jack?" Ianto asked. "It's not legal."

Jack smiled. "There is only one person who could make an exception for us, and if I remember correctly she has quite the soft spot for you."

"You don't mean . . ."

"Yes, yes I do."

"Right, I'll just ring her secretary then and request a private audience shall I?" Ianto said sarcastically.

"Yes please. I would, but he likes you better than me for some reason."

"It could have to do with you- never mind. I'll make the call then, it's not too late yet, he should still be awake." Ianto got up and began to make a call.

"Good evening, this is Ianto Jones calling for . . ."

"What is going on Jack?" Siani asked. "Who is Yan calling?"

"Yes ma'am. Torchwood identification number 3698 . . ."

"How do you fancy a trip to London tomorrow?"

"That's fine," Siani said distractedly. "But what does that have to do with- oh! You don't mean . . ."

"Absolutely! Straight to the top."

"Oh bloody hell!"

"Language Missy! Ouch!" Jack rubbed his bum after it was viciously pinched by his wife. "Don't start something we can't finish."

"How is me pinching you starting something?"

"You touched me, that's how!"

"So this," Siani said as she placed a finger on Jack's chin. "Turns you on, really?"

Jack grabbed her finger and sucked it into his mouth, causing Siani to moan at the sensation. Releasing her finger he flipped them over so that she was underneath him.

"I've told you many times in the past, but I suppose I need to remind you. Everything you do turns me on, everything."

He leaned down, taking care not to place too much of his weight on her, and tenderly kissed her lips. Slowly, he ran his tongue along the seam of her lips, requesting entrance. When she opened to him he delved inside with his tongue, rediscovering every inch of her sweet mouth. She easily turned the tables on him though as she started to suck on his tongue. She knew exactly what that always did to him. He moaned loudly, and Ianto frowned from across the room, though neither Jack nor Siani noticed.

"No sir, I'm fine. Of course sir- Reginald. We will be there for tea tomorrow. Thank you, and again, I apologize for the lateness of the hour. Certainly, good evening."

Ianto hung up the phone as he watched the pair on the bed. Smiling, he threw his phone straight at Jack's backside which resulted in a startled yelp from the immortal Captain.

Jack broke away from Siani and rolled back on the bed, breathing heavily.

"What was that for? And why do you two insist on torturing my poor bum? He's used to being treated in a very different way you know!" Jack frowned playfully.

"That," Ianto said as he climbed back into bed. "Was for moaning like a porn star while I was on the phone to the Queen's private secretary."

Jack just grumbled as he threw back the covers and made his way to the bathroom.

"Where are you going?" Siani asked.

Turning back in the doorway Jack replied, "You've created a problem, and now I have to take things in hand and fix it." Jack said as he gestured to the prominent bulge in his pants.

Siani just laughed and turned to cuddle with Ianto.

"So, we're going to London tomorrow?" She asked.

"Yes, we need to be there in time for tea, so we'll leave a little after lunch."

"Oh no!" Siani groaned.

"What? What's wrong." Ianto said with a tinge of panic.

"What am I going to wear?" Siani exclaimed very seriously.

Ianto burst out laughing, "We'll get you something tomorrow morning, I know just the place."

Smiling she settled back down into his arms. They could both hear Jack moaning in the bathroom, and though the sound did much to fuel their own desires, Ianto felt Siani shaking against him in silent laughter.

He smiled down at her and asked, "What's so funny?"

Composing herself, well mostly, Siani replied, "I'm being very naughty Yan."

"Oh, do tell!"

"Well, I told you both that the bond wouldn't allow us to have sex."

"Yes, unfortunately I remember that quite clearly." Ianto said as he began to caress her side, grazing the side of her breast with every stroke.

"Well I, oooo, um, don't stop. I failed to mention that just because we can't have sex, doesn't mean we can't do other things."

Ianto grinned down at her, "That was naughty, I take it this is part of Jack's punishment?"

Siani just nodded as Ianto moved his hand up the back of her shirt, running it over the soft but scarred skin of her back.

"If you keep my secret I promise that you will be richly rewarded." Siani whispered in his ear.

"Agh," Ianto choked out, "I- I suppose I could do that."

"Mmm, I'm glad. I look forward to rewarding you." She teased him further, and leaned up to gently bite his neck as she caressed him through his pajama pants.

"Fwc!" Ianto exclaimed and jumped up from the bed just as Jack came out of the bathroom looking relieved. Ianto quickly took his place.

Jack just grinned and shook his head as he turned to look at his wife. She just looked back very innocently.

"That look never worked on me, and you know it." Jack said laughing.

"Well, it was worth a try. Now, get in this bed. You two keep leaving it and I don't like it!"

"Trust me, once we're bonded, you won't get me out of it!"

"I'll hold you to that my love." Siani said as she laid her head on Jack's chest after he lay down.

"I can hardly believe that all of this has happened, that you're actually back in my arms where you belong." Jack said quietly, kissing her softly.

"I know." Siani replied. "I'd hardly dared to hope for this again. I- Shae, you'll have to be patient with me, please. I missed you so much, I ached for you; but all of that is so jumbled up with the hurt and anger from what I thought you were doing. I know now that it's not true, but I just need time to let my heart catch up with my head."

Closing his eyes tightly to ward off the tears, Jack tightened his arms around her.

"I understand, we have time. Just know this, not a day has passed in over 150 years that I have not thought of you. Every single day I have awoken, thinking that you would be there beside me. It will take us time, but we will get back what they stole from us; and now that Yan is with us, we can move forward and live the life we always dreamed of living."

"I'm so unbelievably happy right now Shae!" She whispered, squeezing him.

He smiled and leaned down to kiss her lips.

"Ahhhh!" They heard Ianto cry out from the bathroom.

"You know," Jack said. "This is going to be a very long two weeks."

"Again I say, try fifty years! You have no idea how badly I want to jump both of you!"

Ianto came out of the bathroom and quietly returned to the bed, turning off the lights and snuggling in beside Siani.

Looking at both of his lovers, Jack smiled and replied. "Oh, I think I have an idea."

With lingering kisses and caresses, they bid each other goodnight; and for the first time in many years, they all slept free of nightmares, their heads full of dreams of the future that lay before them.

Meanwhile, across town . . .

She had been sitting in her car outside his apartment for hours. She yawned again, taking another drink of the crappy coffee from the 24-hour diner around the corner. Checking the time again she began to get frustrated.

"Just where is that bloody Tea Boy?" Gwen exclaimed, smacking the steering wheel. "It's already half one in the morning. There's no way he stayed with Jack now that his wife is here. Stupid bitch, showing up just when I was going to make my move! No matter, she won't stop Jack and me from being together. We're meant to be, we always have been; and no bloody wife or Tea Boy is going to keep me from what's mine!"

Her semi-psychotic rambling was interrupted by the ringing of her cell phone.

It's that stupid oaf again!

She sighed and answered, "Hello love. No, no sorry- it looks like another all-nighter. Yes, I know, I'm sorry. You get some sleep love, and I'll see you when you get home tomorrow. You too, night."

When she stormed out of the Hub earlier that day, she had been intent on heading home and thinking of a way to get rid of Jack's wife over a bottle of wine. But once she was in her car she realized that she didn't know enough to really make a plan. She needed information, and she knew just where to get it. Granted, she and Ianto weren't close at all, and considering their recent confrontations he might be a little unwilling to divulge anything. He was the weakest link though, everyone knew that, he would cave in spite of their conflict.

Gwen was counting on that. She planned to show up on his doorstep, with doe eyes, an obscenely low-cut top, and false apologies; after all, he was a man, and no man could resist her once she decided to have them. He would no doubt be heartbroken by the revelation that Jack is married, so she would lend him a shoulder to cry on, knowing that he would then tell her everything she wanted to know. She would screw him if she needed to, it would be no hardship on her part, he was no Jack, but he was certainly not unattractive.

Once that was accomplished, she would figure out how to get rid of the bitch, dump Rhys, and then she and Jack would be free to be together.

Tosh will have to go, Ianto will leave on his own, I'm sure. Owen can stay, I might want to keep him on the side. No matter what though, I have to make Jack see that I'm better for him and for Torchwood than either of them could ever be.

Gwen continued to fantasize and plan as she waited in vain for Ianto to return to his apartment, eventually falling asleep a little after 3 a.m.

A few hours later . . .

Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008, Torchwood Hub

The sirens wailed inside the Hub as Tosh came in a little later than normal. She didn't expect anyone else to be there though as it was still only 8:30. However, as she walked in she saw Owen and the Doctor on the sofa. The Doctor waved jovially as he ate yet another banana, and Owen merely grunted before returning to his morning Starbuck's.

"Good morning, you two are here early, did something happen?" Tosh asked as she put away her things and booted up her computers.

"Good morning Miss Sato! It's just a lovely morning, why waste it sleeping!" The Doctor replied with a wide smile.

Owen groaned and began cursing under his breath.

"What are we doing today? I might as well help out with things as I'll be here awhile. Do you want me to take a look at your computer system, maybe upgrade a few things?" The Doctor asked, intentionally being even more exuberant than normal in order to bug Owen.

I've never met another human quite as surly as this one, a few have come close, but Owen is definitely the worst. This will be so much fun!

Tosh smiled at the Doctor, "Not at the moment thank you. According to the Rift prediction program we should have a fairly busy day, nothing we can't handle but the first event should occur in about an hour. Ianto has all of our gear packed and loaded in the SUV, so we can just relax for a while before we go."

"How big is this one Tosh?" Owen grumbled.

Owen and the Doctor went to Tosh's station to look at the read-out with her.

"It doesn't look to be too bad, as long as the weevils behave it should be a day that's just busy enough to keep us from getting bored."

And with that comment, their day was cursed . . .

Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008, Outside Ianto Jones' Apartment

*Tap, tap, tap*

Gwen woke with a start at the tapping on her car window. She looked up to see her former partner, Andy Davidson, looking at her with concern and motioning for her to roll down the window.

"Alright there Gwen? What are you doing asleep in your car in the middle of an empty car park?"

Gwen looked around her. The lot that had been full of vehicles last night was deserted save her own vehicle and some seagulls.

"Oh, morn' Andy. I ah- well it's Torchwood business, so I really can't discuss it alright." She replied, smiling widely at him.

"More of your spooky-doos ay? Alright then, just wanted to make sure everything was alright. You will need to move your car though before I have to ticket you."

"What?" Gwen looked at him, confused.

Pointing to a sign just to the right of her car Andy continued, "Aye, this lot is for residents only. Sorry, but you know how it is."

How could I have missed a bloody huge orange sign? And him, threatening to give me a ticket! Ha!

Smiling sweetly, not realizing the comical picture she made with her makeup smeared over her face, she said, "Sure Andy, it's time for me to head out. Have a good day."

She rolled up her window and drove out of the parking lot, all the while wondering if Ianto slipped in while she slept, or if not, where he could have been.

Andy just shook his head and returned to his squad car. Picking up his cell phone, he dialed a familiar number.

"Morning mate, sorry to bother on a Saturday. No, no, everything's alright, no I'm good. I was just calling to let you know that I just came across Gwen asleep in her car. Yeah, yeah, just sleeping. No, it's more about where she was . . . parked in the lot outside your apartment. Yeah, she just left, told her I would have to ticket her since she didn't have a permit. I know, she was always pants at stake outs, I don't think I want to know what she did to pass that part of her practicum at the academy. She was in the front row directly across from your window. Yeah. Sure, cheers mate."

Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008 - 36 Tynged-Dragwyddol

Ianto sighed as he hung up the phone, returning it to his pocket he unlocked the front door and walked into his home.

The smell of something delicious wafted from the kitchen, and he could hear Jack singing from the bathroom.

"You make me feel, you make me feeeeel, you make me feel like a natural woman. Woman!"

He laughed as he hung up his coat and the suit bags he carried next to it, hearing an answering laugh from the kitchen. He followed it to find Siani flipping pancakes at the stove top. Smiling at the sight, he walked up behind her and wrapped his arms around her.

"Good morning!" He said, and was met with a kiss and a similar reply.

"You were up early."

"I had a few errands to run before we head to London. This looks amazing, you didn't have to do all of this." Ianto said warmly.

"I know, but I saw a picture in one of the cookbooks, and I thought 'I can do that,' and so I did."

"Well I'm very impressed, especially since this is your first time using a 21st century kitchen."

Ianto admired her efforts as he walked over to the bar where she had laid out their place settings, along with fresh fruits, syrups, jams, eggs, and bacon.

"I'm just glad you weren't here earlier while I was figuring it all out." Siani said with a laugh.

"Good morning my sexy people!" Jack loudly announced his entrance, smacking a kiss on Ianto's lips as he walked by, and then leaning over Siani's shoulder to do the same. "Wow! Ooo, pancakes! Very American for your first day in Wales, love!"

Siani winked at him. "They're your favorite and you know it, and yours too, even if you won't admit it." She gestured toward Ianto with her spatula.

"Of course they're not, I'm Welsh, pancakes can't be my favorite!" Ianto said with a wink.

"Well, if you can stomach them, have a seat and get started, I only have a few left to make."

"Oh no you don't," Jack said. "Sit your skinny bum down and start your breakfast next to that handsome Welshman. I'll finish this up, you two have been working hard this morning."

Jack took the spatula from her and nudged her toward the bar. He expertly flipped the pancakes onto the plate and poured more batter in the pan.

"So, should we wait to leave until we absolutely have to, or go after we have breakfast?" Jack asked the other two.

Siani shrugged as she began to fill her plate.

"I don't mind," Ianto said as he tried to sneak more food onto Siani's plate. "We could go early, show Isi the sights a bit."

"Alright, let's do that then. Mmm, these are going to be good!" Jack finished the last of the pancakes, turned off the burner, and took the plate to the bar to add to the pile of pancakes already there. His wife knew them well, pancakes were not something they ate in moderation.

"So where were you off to this morning?" Siani asked Ianto, before lightly smacking his hand as he tried to add another piece of bacon to her plate.

"Well, I took my watch to the jeweler to be cleaned-"

"Oh, your stopwatch? Isi, you're going to love that thing trust me. Lots of things you can do with a stopwatch, right Yan?" Jack grinned towards Ianto.

Ianto merely smiled and gave a naughty wink to Siani, causing her to laugh and choke on her coffee. Both men started patting her back.

"I'm fine, I'm fine," She said, taking another drink. "Anyway, you were saying."

"Well, then I went and picked up an outfit for you Isi, and a suit for Jack."

"A suit for me? Why? I was just going to wear what I always wear to see Liz."

Ianto cringed at Jack's familiar address for the Monarch.

"Exactly, I think that today of all days you should make an effort. It's not every day one petitions their Queen to buck a thousand years of tradition for the right to marry two people. This is not just a request for additional funds for Torchwood Jack, this is important. And for heaven's sake, I beg you, do not call her Liz, or Lizzy, or Liza, or anything other than Ma'am or Your Majesty!"

Jack was pouting by the end of Ianto's tangent. "But she likes it when I call her Lizzy."

"No Jack, she really doesn't, she simply finds you amusing, and not in a good way."

"How can you be sure? Maybe she would like Beth better?" He raised his brow in question towards Siani, who lowered her head to hide her smile.

"I'm sure because she told me so during one of our conversations."

"One of your- just how often do you talk to her?" Jack asked, surprised.

"Once a week." Ianto blushed, and turned back to his food.

"Once a week? Once a week! We're only required to talk to her once a month! Oh!" Jack began to laugh, and he laughed, and laughed.

All the while Siani continued eating, smiling at their antics. Ianto meanwhile, was focusing intently upon his eggs.

"Oh! This is the best day ever!" Jack exclaimed. "Maybe Isi and I should just stay here and let you and Herself talk." Jack wiggled his eyebrows.

"Oh do shut up won't you? She is simply interested in what we do, and wants to know more than what we can tell her with the other bureaucrats that are in the room during our monthly report. Yes, we get along well, but I swear if you so much as blink wrong today I will extend your side of this no sex thing into the next century!"

Siani couldn't contain herself any longer, she burst out laughing and simply could not stop. Eventually, Jack and Ianto joined her, and they were able to finally finish their breakfast.

While clearing up, Ianto broached the subject of his call from Andy earlier. Jack didn't know, but he and Andy had become good friends during Jack's absence, and now they had a reliable source within the PD.

"By the way, I received a call from Andy Davidson earlier." He said as he loaded the dishwasher.

"Oh, and what did PC Davidson have to say?" Jack asked, not really caring about whatever it was Andy wanted.

"Who's Andy?" Siani asked from her seat at the bar, the boys would not allow her to help with cleanup.

"He's a friend and a Police Constable here in Cardiff. He's also Gwen's ex-partner on the force."

"Poor man." Siani said.

Ianto smiled, while Jack looked down. He was still embarrassed by his monumental error in judgment in bringing Gwen to Torchwood, and the way he had acted afterwards.

Noticing his silence Ianto made sure to brush Jack's hand when he handed him the last of the dishes, smiling to show that he understood.

"Yeah well, apparently he found Gwen this morning sleeping in her car in the parking lot of my apartment building."

"What the hell?" Jack exclaimed.

"Yep. She was parked right in the front row directly in line with my window."

"What was she doing there?" Siani asked, proud of herself for keeping her cool.

"Waiting for me to come home I'd wager."

"Yeah, but why?" Jack said. "This is bloody ridiculous! I tell her to go home and get her attitude straight, and instead she decides to stalk you!"

"The only thing I can figure is that she was either wanting information, hoping that I would be pissed off that Siani is here and want to help her break you two up, or she was waiting to kill me. While I wouldn't put the latter past her, it's most likely that she wanted help or information. You know that she's not going to stop don't you?" Ianto asked Jack, who by this time was leaning against the bar rubbing his temples.

"And I was having such a good day!" Jack said. "Yes, we both know how stubborn she is, gods know why I thought that was a good characteristic! Remind me never to hire anyone because they are simply tenacious ever again."

"I think," Siani said. "That you both need to come to terms with the fact that she is going to need to be dealt with, and sooner, rather than later."

"What do you mean, 'dealt with?'" Ianto asked apprehensively.

She looked at Ianto, and then at Jack. "You know what I mean. From what I have seen, and been told, she's not entirely stable. She's a pathological liar, completely amoral when it comes to her own conduct, and she is completely fixated on you Jack. She will use any and all means to get what she feels is rightfully hers, meaning you."

"I hear what you're saying, but we can't do anything so drastic. This isn't the Time Agency Isi, we can't just eliminate her as an eminent threat."

"Stupid 21st century." She grumbled. "Fine, so we can't act right away, but we need to be cautious. I will obviously be her first and primary target, which I can easily handle. But she will go after Yan, and most likely Tosh too."

"Tosh? Why would she do anything to Tosh?" Ianto asked, concerned for his friend's well-being. He knew all too well that Gwen had a vicious streak a mile wide.

"Well, there's no love lost between those two that's for sure, but she's also your best friend; and she's been an outspoken supporter of your relationship with Jack. All I'm saying is that we need to be vigilant. I plan on letting her know where I stand right off. My only real concern is you and Tosh."

"You're right. We need to look out for each other. We'll talk to the others about this tomorrow at the Hub. But hear me now," Jack said, looking intently at them both. "I will not let her hurt anyone on my team, and most especially not either of you. If she threatens my family I will do what is necessary."

"Well, now that that's settled let's get ready to go." Siani said, sliding off of her stool and heading upstairs as if they had not just discussed eliminating a member of Torchwood.

Ianto just stood at the bar, troubled by the issue, and a little shocked by Siani's attitude.

Jack pulled him into a hug and kissed his temple.

"Why is she so cavalier with ending someone's life? I don't understand." Ianto looked at Jack in question.

Sighing, Jack pulled back a little, but held on to Ianto's arms.

"You need to understand something Yan, the world that Isi and I come from is a scary place and time; the life we led as Time Agents was rather removed from society. We stood as its protectors, we were the ones that did all of the dirty work so that others could still believe in norms and gentility. We have been trained to assess every moment of our lives for threats, and to eliminate those threats. Isi's not a loose cannon, but she will not hesitate to take out anything that threatens those that she loves, and neither will I. Do you understand?"

"Yeah. Yeah, I do." Ianto said, pulling away and taking Jack's hand as he walked to the hallway. "I understand, and I know that faced with that choice I wouldn't hesitate either. I guess it's just referring to someone that I work with every day in terms of a threat assessment that bothers me."

Ianto grabbed the garment bags as both men started to ascend the stairs to the bedroom.

"But Yan, those are the people you should always be aware of in terms of a threat, they tend to pose the most danger because of their proximity."

"So you've assessed me then?" Ianto asked with a raised brow, stopping on the stairs.

"Oh course, I did that a long time ago." Jack replied.

"And . . ."

"And, you Ianto Jones, have always been the biggest threat in my branch; physically, intellectually, no one can match you. But the biggest threat you posed was to me personally; I knew from the moment I first laid eyes on you in that park that my heart was in danger."

Ianto stepped onto the same stair as Jack and leaned forward so that their lips were almost touching.

"There's no danger sir; not when I've given you my heart in return. I'll keep yours safe, I swear it."

Jack leaned forward, kissing Ianto hard and holding his face between his hands.

"Mahta amin vee' lle irma, me mela." Jack whispered against his lips. "Do with me as you desire, my love."

Chapter Text

Chapter 13 - Firsts and Firearms

Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008 - Torchwood, Monday morning

Today was Siani's first official day with Torchwood. She wasn't nervous per say, but rather apprehensive about what might happen.

The trip to London went well. Jack managed to behave himself, mostly; and Ianto was by her side the entire time, making sure that she was comfortable and not making any major faux pas. Meeting Her Majesty was fantastic and nerve-wracking. She was someone Siani only knew of from history lessons, so to actually have the opportunity to meet such a legendary woman was beyond thrilling. After laying out their request, and assuring Her Majesty that they were actually serious, things went surprisingly well.

They were officially granted permission to wed, and their marriage would be considered legally binding no matter where they might go. The Queen also granted Siani British citizenship (legally, Jack had planned to use other means), and instated her as a servant to the Crown (a designation up and until then only held by Jack and Ianto within Torchwood).

Siani had then done something that she initially feared to be a major misstep. Explaining that she knew that Her Majesty had a very busy schedule, but that the next time she visited Cardiff she had a standing invitation to dine at their home, and an offer to tour Torchwood's facilities at her leisure. She was truly afraid for a moment that she had offended the Queen and embarrassed Jack and Ianto; but it seemed that Her Majesty was "delighted by the invitation," and looked forward to taking them up on it.

After they left the palace, Ianto reassured Siani repeatedly that she did well in issuing the invitation. Jack grumbled about the offer to tour Torchwood until Ianto reminded him that the Queen was losing patience with his reluctance to divulge the actions of his branch, and that this might be just the way to calm the waters.

They had returned to Cardiff early Sunday morning and went straight to Torchwood. It was largely an uneventful day; Owen gave her another check-up and was pleased that her healing seemed to be accelerating. Thankfully the rift was calm and the Weevils seemed to have decided to have a lie-in, which Owen complained about repeatedly as they had been overly active the day before.

Tosh set Siani up with her security codes and passwords. They were holding off on installing a desk as Jack had decided to remodel a bit to give them more room, and to make space for Siani and Ianto to have desks in the main hub.

They shared what they had learned about Gwen's activities with the others, which went as well as could be expected. Tosh immediately began upgrading security and surveillance measures, installing monitoring software on Gwen's computer. Owen ranted for about an hour, and the Doctor played the disinterested observer, all the while taking it all in, curious about how this "new" Jack ran his team.

The only truly eventful occurrence happened when Ianto, Jack, and Siani revealed their bond and their trip to London to the other three. The Doctor took it all in stride, obviously already knowing about the bond, but pleasantly surprised by the Queen's assistance.

Tosh and Owen were much more expressive in their reactions. Owen sat silent for several moments with his mouth hanging open. Tosh immediately jumped up to hug Ianto, followed by Jack, and finally Siani.

"I knew it!" She said happily. "I just knew it had to be Ianto you were talking about when you told us about your third mate. This is bloody fantastic! It's a bit out of the ordinary today but, who the hell cares! I'm so happy for you all!"

Owen finally came around, saying, "You lucky bastard! Harkness, I swear that you- Shit! Well, congratulations you three."

Owen nodded awkwardly to Ianto and Jack, dodging Jack's hug, before he let Siani hug him.

He grinned at both men as he hugged Siani while saying, "Yep definitely the two luckiest bastards in Britain!"

Jack and Ianto were not amused. Siani simply laughed and jokingly smacked his chest as she pulled away.

Ianto reached over and pulled her into a side hug, moving her in between him and Jack. Siani rolled her eyes and Tosh laughed at his possessive behavior.

Not much work got done after that, so they all decided to call it an early night and go out to the pub to celebrate. They all agreed to keep quiet about their triad, and especially the upcoming bonding and wedding.

Now it was Monday morning, and Siani was currently sitting in the boardroom where she had been placed in the chair to the left of Jack's seat (Jack practically carried her there) after Owen had drawn blood again. Tosh was seated across the table and over one seat where she was engrossed in researching on her PDA for the new security measures Siani had suggested. The others filtered in, Owen sitting next to her and the Doctor next to Tosh at the far end of the table. Ianto came in shortly after, carrying coffee and juice (for her, Ianto refused to give her coffee until at least an hour after her blood was drawn), before taking his seat across from her on Jack's right side. Finally Jack arrived, laying down a pile of papers and binders at his place and smiling as Ianto handed him his coffee.

Jack had locked himself in his office as soon as the trio arrived around 7 that morning in addition to spending most of the day prior in there as well. Neither Siani nor Ianto knew what he was doing, but they thought it best to leave him to it. He had not discussed anything with them at home, but had clearly been preoccupied.

Ianto spent the rest of the time before the others arrived showing Siani the rest of the Hub, and making sure that she knew where to find his desk within the archives. There may have been a few brief stops in the hidden alcoves on the lower levels.

Now the time was upon them, it was a few minutes before 9 and Gwen was due at any moment.

"Alright people," Jack said. "We're going to have a team meeting, obviously. I'll say this again once Gwen arrives, but this will be a professional meeting. Tosh has the system set up to record and dictate everything said and done here for our records."

They all simply nodded in agreement, each determined to keep their respective tempers in check.

Jack continued, "Like we talked about yesterday, we will not bring up Gwen's little stake-out, that will be addressed at a later time. I'm counting on each of you to set an example of professionalism; gods know we're going to need it. Lots of things are about to change, I hope for the better. Let's-"

Jack was interrupted by the proximity alarm which announced Gwen's arrival. She looked around the Hub, wondering where everyone was at when she heard Jack's voice.

"Boardroom, Gwen."

She quickly moved to her desk to put away her things before making her way up to the boardroom. She had hoped to talk to Jack alone, but saw that it would have to wait.

Upon entering the room Gwen took note of the seating arrangements, they remained mostly the same except for the fact that she and Owen were down the table further due to Jack's wife being seated next to him. She took her seat without comment and waited along with the others for Jack to begin. She had decided yesterday that her best move at this point was to appear to be contrite and cooperative.

"Right, let's get started. If each of you will take one of these," Jack said as he began to pass the binders down the table. "Doctor I included one for you, obviously it's not mandatory for you, but since you're here, you might as well be able to follow along."

The Doctor smiled at Jack and began to peruse the information within the binder.

"All meetings from here on out will be recorded and stored in the database; this is something I should have instituted long ago when Tosh first suggested it. In these meetings we discuss official Torchwood business and there needs to be record of it. That being said, we will all conduct ourselves as professionals. All of us. We will get to changes in workplace behavior in a bit. Does everyone understand?"

They all nodded.

"As some of you have already noted," Jack said, acknowledging Ianto's confused frown. "There have been changes made to the Torchwood manual. The first of which was to the mission statement. Her Majesty approved that change just this morning, so congratulations Doctor, you're no longer considered an enemy of the Crown."

Jack and the Doctor grinned at one another, while the others looked on in amusement (and in one person's case confusion).

"What do you mean Jack?" Asked Gwen. "Why has he been allowed to be here if he's an enemy of the Crown?"

The others, save Owen, all stifled the urge to roll their eyes, and remained silent.

Jack sighed inwardly, and once again berated himself. He had seriously screwed up where Gwen was concerned.

"Well Gwen, if you remember from the introductory information you were given by Ianto along with your employment paperwork, the Doctor here is the reason this institution was founded."

Her confused look was enough to confirm his suspicions that she had indeed never read the information, just as Ianto said.

Continuing, Jack said, "However, I have a better understanding of who the Doctor is and what he has done for this planet. He is not the threat that Queen Victoria thought him to be. Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth agrees, and would like to have the opportunity to meet you Doctor."

"Thank you Jack, that's quite lovely. I would love to have a spot of tea with Her Majesty. It's nice to no longer be banished from the realm in which I am a knight. Did I ever tell you-"

"Doctor."

"Right, sorry. Continue."

"Anyway, before we go any further I want you all to be aware that this is the beginning of many changes for Torchwood. I realize that I have not been the best leader, and I intend to do something about that, starting today."

Jack looked around the room, making sure to make eye contact with each person, saving Ianto for last.

"But before we go into the details, I need to introduce a couple of people officially."

Jack moved to stand behind Siani and placed his hands on her chair.

"Firstly, my wife, Siani Harkness, has agreed to join us. She will be our weapons and hand-to-hand combat expert, and as such is in charge of the armory and all artifacts that are found to be weaponry. Ianto will work with you on that Siani. Also, she is a trained combat medic and will assist Owen as he needs." Siani and Owen looked at each other before fist bumping, which Owen had taught her earlier in the med bay. "Her role will most likely grow over time as she acclimates to her new situation."

Tosh and Ianto smiled while Owen looked satisfied. He was glad to finally have another person on the team that had some formal medical training. Gwen continued to look at the manual, not acknowledging Jack's comments or Siani's introduction.

Jack then moved to the other side of the table to stand behind Ianto.

"Secondly, I have put a great deal of thought into this. I should have done this some time ago, especially considering recent issues."

Though no one turned to look at her, Gwen clearly felt the hostility in the room.

"I am officially naming Ianto Jones as my second in command, effective immediately. I say officially, because he has been such for quite some time unofficially."

Ianto was shocked, so was Gwen. She had planned on convincing Jack to name her as his second as soon as possible. She just knew that everything he said the other day was just a show, he needed her. It was all she could do to keep the rage from showing on her face. She did not realize though, that she had an observer; Siani was surreptitiously watching her reflection in the window, and noted her struggle.

"Jack, are you sure?" Ianto asked.

"I'm absolutely sure." He said as he moved from behind Ianto to once again take his seat.

Jack looked Ianto in the eye and said, "You have served Torchwood longer than anyone else, save me. You know everyone's positions, and can step in to any of them as needed. You are the god of all administration, and Her Majesty has expressed her wish to see you in the position. Ianto, you are the best person for the job, and I have every confidence in your abilities."

Ianto nodded his head in acceptance after a few moments, and Siani smiled. She was determined to help Ianto see himself more clearly, it seemed that Jack was as well.

"Okay, now, confession time. I screwed up; I did not ensure that you all were trained as you should have been. I was so intent on distancing myself from One, that I refused to incorporate anything that vaguely resembled their way of doing things. While I hold that we will never become another One, there were a few things they actually had right."

At this Owen raised a brow and leaned back in his chair. He was a little leery of what might be coming, but also a bit excited that Jack really seemed to be growing a pair.

"I'm not sure I like the sound of that. I hate all that bureaucracy, Jack, that's the biggest thing I hated at the hospital. Tell me we're not going to become a bunch of stuffed shirt, pencil pushers." Owen said.

Jack frowned, "I think you know me better than that Owen. No, these changes are not meant to complicate our lives with a bunch of red tape; rather they are meant to simplify things so that we can better do our real jobs."

Owen nodded without comment, deciding to suspend judgment for the moment.

"Alright, now everyone will undergo training, or retraining in most cases. Ianto, I apologize now, most of this will simply be review for you."

Ianto merely shrugged, and gestured for Jack to continue.

"You will each be trained in Torchwood history and policy, safety procedures, archiving, firearms, hand-to-hand combat, first aid, computer systems, and protocol for interacting with non-terrestrial species and each other. Ianto, Siani, Owen, and Tosh, you will each be conducting training in your respective areas of expertise; and Doctor, if you don't mind helping while you're here, we could use your knowledge of alien species."

"Of course, I'm happy to help." The Doctor said, his respect for Jack inching upwards.

"Great! Now-"

"Jack?" Gwen interrupted. "Would you like for me to train everyone in investigations and liaising?"

Jack turned to Gwen and said, "No, that won't be necessary. Ianto has been handling the liaising as of late, and no offense Gwen, but everyone at this table has been conducting investigations longer than you have."

"But with the police I-"

"With the police," Tosh interrupted. "You were a constable, not a Detective Inspector."

"Alright," Jack continued before an argument could start. "Thank you ladies, training will be handled as I laid out a few moments ago. This is all new to us, and obviously there will need to be a few revisions as we work through everything. I'm hoping that this training, and the new policies I'm instituting will help us to do our jobs better, and to ensure everyone's safety. Torchwood operatives have a notoriously short lifespan; I'd like to change that. I'll gladly wrangle for additional funds for retirement if this works."

Glancing around the table, Jack observed them all, trying to gauge their reactions. Tosh, Owen, and Ianto all seemed to be accepting, the Doctor was bouncing in his chair as he continued to read through the manual, Gwen was obviously unhappy but trying to appear unaffected. Siani, he noted, was grinning at him.

What?

You are so hot right now.

Arg! Not now!

Siani just smiled innocently.

"Now, here's how this is going to work; history and policy, safety procedures, and office conduct will be independent study. However, you will be tested to ensure that you have learned and can apply your knowledge. You all have one week to complete your individual assignments and tests. Every other area will be covered as per the schedule inside your binders. As you can see there are no set dates and times; this will all be covered over the next two weeks, but it will be done as the rift permits, be prepared to stay late as necessary. Also, Ianto and I will be going over everyone's job descriptions and ensuring that everything is up to date, and that your security level is set correctly as well as your pay scale."

"That's done then, alright. For the future, this will become standard procedure for any new Torchwood hire, regardless of where they come to us from and what their prior training might have entailed."

At this point most of the table looked a little shocked.

"Yes, I know, I've always said that I didn't want a big team. I still don't to be honest, but it's not about what I want. We need a bigger team in order to do our jobs. The hours that we work and the stress we put on our bodies is not healthy, as I'm sure Owen could tell us in detail; so, in time we will be adding to our team. Someday I hope to have a Rota where everyone will have a set schedule and time off; we might even be able to swing something called a vacation." Jack said with a grin.

"Yes!" Owen exclaimed. Finally, everyone looked pleased.

"Finally, you all will see this in your office conduct section, but just to be clear. If you have a problem with a co-worker you will follow the procedures to set up a time to discuss the issue. Any such meetings will be held with me and one other person, in most cases that will be Ianto. You can read the rest from there. I will not listen to bickering or tattling, yes I am your friend, but when it comes to matters concerning Torchwood, I am your boss, and only your boss. Ianto, you will be happy to note the section on harassment in the workplace." Jack winked at him.

"I will address this once, and only once, if it happens again there will be disciplinary action taken. I never, and I mean never, want to see or hear a spectacle like the one that occurred last week ever again. You will treat each other with respect, I don't care if you like each other or not, but you will behave as professionals. Are we clear?"

Jack looked at each member of his team one by one, until each nodded in understanding.

"To wrap up, we'll take a ten minute break and then meet up in the firing range. Siani will be taking us through our paces, if she feels up to it." Jack looked to Siani and received a nod in the affirmative. "Perfect, she's forgotten more about weapons than any of you have ever learned, so you're in for a treat, trust me. So, let's take a break, and then we'll go shoot stuff." Jack said and then began to gather up his notes.

They all started to file out and began to chat about the changes. Gwen took this opportunity to make her way over to Jack.

"Jack?" She said, standing inches away from him. "Can we talk?"

Jack sighed internally and thought. Here we go.

"What about Gwen?" He said as he took a step back from her.

She glanced toward the door, and seeing that everyone else had left she continued, "It's about everything that happened. I don't want this misunderstanding to hurt our relationship Jack." She stepped toward him again and placed a hand on his arm.

"This has already been discussed Gwen, I just finished discussing it. Or were you not listening?" Jack said, moving away and picking up his notes from the table.

"Of course I was listening, and I've learned my lesson, I promise. But you and I have something that I don't want to jeopardize Jack. I know things are complicated for you right now, and I want you to know that I'm here for you if you need me. Any time, day or night." She smiled up at him in what she believed to be a beguiling manner.

Gods, how could I have not seen what she was up to all this time? Was I that big of a jackass that I let this go on for the sake of my ego? Well that's an obvious 'yes.'

Jack sighed and stepped back from her again. She moved to close the distance, but Jack stopped her.

"Stop, Gwen! This stops now. Listen to me, there has never been anything between us beyond friendship. Did I flirt with you? Yes. I flirt with everyone, in case you haven't noticed. I'll be perfectly honest with you though, right now I'm only your boss. Your attitude and actions lately are not those of someone I want to call my friend. So I suggest that you stop all of this now."

"But Jack-" She tried to interrupt.

Continuing as if she hadn't spoken, Jack said, "I believe you have a fiancé Gwen; a fiancé, who is a good man that loves you and wants to spend his life with you. Be happy Gwen; don't throw that away on some fantasy that doesn't exist. I'm happy, ecstatically happy. My wife is home; my wife Gwen, the woman I chose to spend my life with, I finally have her back. I'll not lose her again, not for anything or anyone. Are we clear?"

"Of course Jack." Gwen ground out before stomping away, down the stairs to her desk. She inwardly seethed at his treatment of her. It was obvious to her that he was only doing this because his wife had just shown up; she would wait, he would soon return to normal and he would miss her. After all, he needed her.

Torchwood Firing Range

Everyone gathered in the firing range. The Doctor and Tosh were engaged in an in-depth discussion of thermonuclear physics; Owen was lounging in a chair, waiting as patiently as Owen can wait, and Gwen leaned against the back wall, silently watching Jack and the others.

Siani and Ianto were looking over the weapons that would be used; and Jack watched Siani intently as she expertly checked each one. He was still trying to process how much his life had changed in just a few days. His emotions were all over the place, though he worked very hard to conceal them.

He knew that Siani, and probably Ianto to an extent, could pick up on the tumult inside of him. This was the main reason he had locked himself in his office the day before and that morning. He worked on all the changes he wanted to make to his branch, but mostly he spent time trying to figure out how to keep his family happy, and most importantly, safe.

More than any other emotion, he felt blissfully, ecstatically, stupidly happy; but he was also worried, and completely terrified. His life for the past 150 plus years consisted of one disappointment or heartbreak after another. Every time things started going well, it all seemed to come quickly crashing to the ground.

This is why he was terrified; because this time the stakes were the highest they had ever been. It wasn't just his life that could go to crap any more, it was their life. He remembered what he had been like after those years of fruitlessly searching for his wife. Out of control didn't come close to describing it; Jack was pretty sure that he had truly lost his mind for a time. He was shattered, and didn't understand why he hadn't died as well. If it weren't for Carad quite literally knocking some sense into him, there is no telling what he would have done.

Jack knew that he was a dangerous man during his days at the Time Agency; he was trained to be so. However now, he knew that he could potentially be the most dangerous being in existence. If he were to lose them now, there would be no stopping him, no comfort, and no brotherly wake-up call that could bring him back from the brink. He would tear the universe apart to find them, and he had an eternity to do it. That's what terrified Jack, there would be no limits, no restraints; he knew that he would do anything, to anyone, in order to ensure their safety. So while he wanted to focus on the joy of their upcoming bonding, and to simply enjoy their time together, he couldn't help but fear that it would all be over before it could really begin. That seemed to be his lot in life.

Shae, leave the shadows in the past where they belong. Jack heard Siani say through their link.

Picking up the particle gun on the table, Siani examined it before huffing and turning to Jack, snapping him out of his brooding.

"What?" Jack asked, and then grinned when she gave him an exasperated look.

"Let me guess. The pulse doesn't work, right?"

This caught Tosh's attention as she had spent many hours trying to fix that very feature.

"That's right," she said. "Neither Jack nor I have been able to get it to work. It tends to overheat as well; nothing I've tried has been able to fix it."

"Well Tosh, that's not your fault. That is because the person who taught you about particle guns is complete pants at them. He never paid attention when we were instructed on their repair and maintenance; which is why the pulse doesn't work. I bet you still run down the battery too, Jack! I'll go over it with you later Tosh." She said dryly.

The Doctor grinned, remembering the incident during which he first met Jack.

"Okay, thanks." Tosh said uncomfortably, not quite sure how to respond.

Jack just looked at his exasperated wife sheepishly before grinning and slipping his arm around her waist, pulling her against his side.

"Now see," he said. "This is yet another reason why we need you. You were always better at taking instruction than I was."

Jack leaned down and whispered something in her ear which caused Siani to blush and Jack to laugh.

"Besides, Ianto really needs your help; I'm more than a hand-full I understand." Jack turned so that only Ianto and Siani could see his face while waggling his eyebrows suggestively.

Ianto couldn't help but laugh, which set Owen off, him clearly having caught the double entendre. It took the Doctor and Tosh a moment longer before they each joined in until Gwen was the only one not joining in the gaiety.

"Oh Jack dear, I'll be focusing on helping Yan alright, which is a big job; you can handle yourself." Siani said innocently, patting his shoulder before turning back to work on the particle gun.

By this point Owen was struggling to breathe from laughing so hard while Tosh continued to giggle, even the Doctor seemed to be struggling to contain his mirth as the husband and wife quipped back and forth.

Ianto just smiled at his two mates.

"Hum, we'll see about that!" Jack responded with a pout.

Siani ignored him while she continued to check the rest of the weapons.

Gwen observed the interactions between Jack, his wife, and Ianto, and was left feeling very confused. When she had gone to Ianto's apartment the other night, she fully expected him to return home, crushed because of the return of Jack's wife.

Watching them now though, no one would be able to tell that there was any tension at all. They seemed happy and friendly with each other, joking and playing together as though they were the best of friends.

Clearly there was something more going on here, and Gwen was determined to figure out what it was.

"Okay, let's get started." Jack said. "Now, the utterly luscious Siani here is our resident goddess of war."

Jack continued with his usual exuberance while Ianto and Siani rolled their eyes.

"She is going to retrain us all and help us to keep ourselves and each other safe in the field. So, Mrs. Harkness, the floor is yours." Jack gave an exaggerated bow before stepping over to stand next to Ianto.

"Thank you Jack, I think. The first thing I would like to do is just observe each of you firing upon a stationary target. How many of you had weapons training prior to joining Torchwood Cardiff?" Siani asked.

Only Ianto indicated that he had.

Siani looked at Jack with a raised brow.

"Alright, so Jack trained the rest of you. Tosh and Gwen, we will most likely be making some changes to the way you shoot."

"I don't think-" Gwen interrupted.

"Clearly." Siani said, turning to look at Gwen who had her hands on her hips. "Jack is a good teacher, but he sometimes forgets that there are some subtle differences in how men and women handle weapons. Don't!" She said, stopping Jack before he could make a dirty comment.

"Also, I'm sure you all enjoy his teaching method, some of you a little too much, Owen." Siani said, grinning.

"Oi! Bloody Harkness the octopus!"

They all laughed save Gwen and the Doctor. Gwen was surprised that Jack trained everyone like he did her; and the Doctor simply had no clue what they were talking about.

"Well, it has its uses." Siani continued. "Which is why I taught it to him."

"You mean..." Tosh started. Jack laughed at the looks on their faces. They would soon learn that his wife was quite naughty when she wanted to be.

"He had to pick it up somewhere." Siani said with a wink. "In case any of you were confused as to his, and by extension my intent in using that method, it is a tool to gauge how you react under pressure, how you handle distractions, and to assess your weaknesses."

"Now let's get started. One at a time you will approach the table and select your preferred weapon, step up to the line, and when instructed you will open fire on the hostile targets. Simple, easy, no pressure. After that, you will reload and I will give you some direction if needed, and assess your abilities in a more dynamic situation. Ianto, we'll start with you."

Ianto smiled at Siani and stepped up to the table, picking up the Sig Sauer P226 MK25. He checked it over before approaching the firing line where he loaded and readied the pistol.

After double checking that they were all wearing the appropriate protective gear, even the stubborn Time Lord, she gave the okay to fire.

As she expected, Ianto was a crack shot; he hit dead center on every target, and quickly emptied the magazine.

Ianto secured his weapon and stepped back from the line before looking over to Siani for her assessment.

Both she and Jack smiled at him with pride, causing him to blush profusely.

"Fantastic!" Siani exclaimed. "That is what I want to see. Did you see his stance? Balanced, leaning slightly toward the target, and completely relaxed. Perfect Yan! Now, again."

This time as Ianto loaded his weapon Siani joined him in the firing lane. Instead of plastering herself to his backside as Jack normally did, Siani stepped in front of Ianto as he stood sideways to the target. This position afforded her more freedom than she would have had otherwise as her hands were shielded by Ianto's body.

"Okay Yan," Siani said so that only he could hear, and began to play with the buttons on his shirt, lightly caressing his chest at the same time. "I want you to show them how it's done. You look so damn sexy right now, you have no idea how much I want you to take me right here on this floor."

Ianto gulped audibly, struggling to focus and not allow her to distract him. This became increasingly difficult as she softly cupped him through his slacks, and slipped the tips of her fingers inside the waistband. He wasn't alone in his struggle though; unknown to Ianto, Siani had fully opened her link to Jack, allowing him to hear and feel how she touched him.

Tugging him tightly against her, Siani said, "Now Yan, fire."

Amazingly, he managed to do just as well as the first time, though he had to take his time securing the weapon. Both he and Jack shifted uncomfortably.

"Excellent! Alright, Tosh. You're next." Siani said happily, as if she had not just caused major discomfort for both of her men.

Tosh made her selection and moved to the line, firing when instructed. She hit the center of mass on all but one of her targets, and dead center on two.

"Nicely done, Tosh. We can work on a couple of things that will help you with consistency though."

Siani moved to stand behind Tosh and placed her hands on Tosh's hips. This of course caught the attention of all the men in the room, and if she were honest about it, Gwen as well.

"Now Tosh, you need to adjust your stance just slightly, like this." Siani guided her. "As women, our center of mass is lower to the ground than a man's."

"Yeah it is." Owen said, earning himself a frown from Siani, Tosh, and Gwen, as well as a huge grin from Jack.

"Anyway. Yes, just like that. Loosen your grip just slightly and remember to squeeze, not pull."

Siani and Tosh ignored the snickering. Tosh made the adjustments and fired her first four shots perfectly. Then Siani did something that caused her to miss her target by a few inches on the next two shots before she corrected herself and finished perfectly.

Siani knew of Tosh's imprisonment with U.N.I.T., and as much as she hated to do so, she had to test Tosh's ability to fight her fears. She crowded Tosh, deliberately boxing her into the small space. Though she was startled at first, she was able to continue and finished well, though she was a little shaky when her time was up.

Siani squeezed her shoulder gently and smiled. "Well done, Tosh. Just continue to work on your adjusted stance and you'll be giving Ianto a run for his money soon."

Tosh smiled and thanked Siani before standing back to allow Owen to go next.

And so Siani instructed Owen, "Quit leaning into my chest Owen"; and Jack, "I will not do that to you in the middle of a firing exercise, if you keep it up I'll never do that again"; and the reluctant Doctor, "Really Doctor, don't pretend that you've never used a weapon before, and quit trying to turn them into fruit!" Finally it was Gwen's turn.

She stepped up and selected her weapon, and immediately loaded it.

"Woah!" Siani said, keeping her voice even and pleasant. "Hold up a minute Gwen, you forgot a couple things."

"What?" Gwen said testily.

"First of all, you didn't check the weapon."

"You already checked it. Why should I waste my time checking it if you and the Te- Ianto already did?"

The previously jovial atmosphere became tense quickly.

Losing her patience with the woman, Siani took a deep breath before beginning.

"Rule number one, never fire a weapon that you have not personally inspected beforehand. It's lazy and it's reckless. Secondly, this is a controlled environment with safety procedures in place for a reason. Those procedures are posted on the wall just there, and if you were watching, no one else loaded their weapon prior to entering the shooting lane. Thirdly, if you cannot follow basic safety procedures with firearms, you will not be authorized to carry one. I won't endanger the rest of this team because you can't be bothered to do things correctly."

Gwen was absolutely fuming, and she repeatedly glanced at Jack, hoping that he would step in and rebuke his wife. Jack however, was watching calmly as Gwen was given a much-needed dressing down.

"And finally," Siani said, drawing Gwen's attention back to her. "I don't know, nor do I care what your attitude is about, though I can easily take a guess; but you had better stow it now if you don't want yourself removed from field duty pending retraining."

Gwen looked at her sharply. "You can't do that! You have no authority over me, I-"

"Gwen," Jack interrupted sharply. "She has every right, and the responsibility to pull you off of field duty or take your weapon should she believe that you are a danger to the team. As I said earlier, she is in charge of weaponry and hand-to-hand combat, and by extension, field operations. She does have authority over you."

Stomping her foot Gwen cried, "Jack that's not fair! She just got here. I've been here longer, so I should be over her!"

Jack reached up and squeezed the bridge of his nose, hoping to stave off the headache he felt forming.

"Enough!" Jack yelled, startling them all except for Siani. "Authority is given to those who earn it, and who possess the necessary skills. Siani is more highly trained than any of you, and she has commanded units far larger than this. She is more than qualified, and actually, she outranks me! Isn't that right Major?"

Siani simply nodded in return.

"If you can't deal with that, then you know the options."

Gwen stared at Jack in shock. This act of his was really getting out of hand; he was going to have to beg for her forgiveness before they could be together.

The room was tense and silent until Siani spoke.

"I think that's enough for today. Let's secure the weapons."

"No," Gwen interjected. "I haven't gone yet. I want to go."

"Secure the weapon Cooper, you had your chance. You'll get another in a few days before we begin combat training."

Siani had been watching Gwen the entire time, especially wary because of the loaded weapon in her hand. She noticed the moment Gwen twitched, obviously considering using the weapon. Siani had her disarmed and slammed against the nearest wall before Gwen could raise the gun an inch.

Everyone jumped, and moved to assist Siani, to which she shook her head. She had one arm against the back of Gwen's neck and the other securing her arm at a painful looking angle behind her back. Ianto immediately picked up the weapon and unloaded it.

"Listen to me very carefully Gwen Cooper." Siani said in a cold voice that none of them but Jack had ever heard. "I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you merely twitched, and that you weren't actually contemplating using that weapon. Remember this though, if you ever do try something like that, I will kill you. No questions, no excuses, you will die. Are we clear?"

Gwen tried to struggle, only to be pressed more firmly into the wall.

"I asked you if we are clear."

"Yes." Gwen choked out.

"Good." Siani stepped back, releasing Gwen from her hold a subtly placing herself in between Gwen and Ianto. "Well, as fun as all of this has been, I'm hungry. Should we have lunch now?"

Gwen rubbed her shoulder and watched Siani warily.

"I think that's for the best." Jack said in a strained voice. "Owen, take Gwen up to the med bay and look her over. Tosh if you could place a lunch order for us I would appreciate it. Doc, come show me that upgrade you were talking about. Siani, Ianto, you two finish up down here."

Jack led the way out of the firing range, and was quickly followed by the others. Siani was startled when Ianto gently, yet firmly pressed her against the table and claimed her mouth. The kiss was forceful and intense, and he gripped her by her hips.

When they finally came up for air they both laughed at how flushed a disheveled they were.

Breathing heavily Ianto said, "I'm a little worried about myself. It shouldn't turn me on so much when you threaten to kill someone!"

Siani laughed, "Don't worry; I doubt you're becoming a sociopath just yet. I just can't believe she was stupid enough to consider using that weapon."

"I doubt she really would have, not yet at least. Most people wouldn't have noticed her move like you did. I think she will definitely be wary of you now though." Ianto said as he moved next to Siani to lean against the table.

Siani slipped an arm through Ianto's and leaned her head on his shoulder.

"That's good. Maybe now she'll think twice about doing something equally stupid."

"We can only hope. Let's get these secure. Hopefully Tosh will order Thai since its Monday. You've not had Thai yet, I think you'll like it."

"Whatever you say my sexy Welsh marksman." Siani winked at him.

While Ianto and Siani secured the weapons in the armory, Jack managed to finally convince the Doctor that the upgrade he wanted to perform was simply not possible on 21st Century Earth. The materials needed wouldn't be discovered for another 400 years on the other side of the galaxy. Reluctantly, the Doctor agreed not to attempt the upgrade, and went to see what project Tosh had going at the moment.

He made his way up to his office after checking in with Owen and sending Gwen to her desk to begin her training. Once there he locked the door and made his way down into his bunker.

Jack had a call to make, and it was best made in private. He opened his vortex manipulator and keyed in the contact code for his wayward brother-in-law.

"Jack! I knew you couldn't do without me! Eye Candy not doing it for you anymore?" The man with 19th Century fashion sense and a bone structure even more stunning than his sister's greeted with a leer.

"I'm alone John, and this is secure." Jack replied.

"Give me a minute." John Hart replied while affixing some type of device to the wall of the room he was currently standing inside.

"Alright, we're secure now. What's going on Shae? You haven't contacted me like this in years."

"Carad, I need you to come back, here to Cardiff. She's here Carad." Jack said earnestly.

"That's not funny Shae," John said angrily. "You know she's gone, it's been years."

"No Carad, I'm serious. The moonlight shines on the water."

Upon hearing Jack's reply, John fell to his knees.

"How? How is that possible? She died, you felt the bond break!" John said frantically.

"I know. It's a long story. We'll tell you all about it once you're here. There's more though."

John laughed. "More? How can you possibly top this?"

"We found our telanan."

John looked shocked before smiling widely. "It's Eye Candy isn't it?"

"How could you possibly know that?" Jack exclaimed.

"It's kind of obvious if you think about it. Besides, he just seems to fit. It just seems right." John said wistfully.

"It will happen for you one day brother. Don't give up hope."

"I'm running out of places and times to look Shae. Maybe they're gone; maybe I've missed them after all."

Jack shook his head vehemently. "No, I don't believe that. They're out there, and you're going to find them. Whether or not they'll be able to stand you once you find them, well that's a long shot!"

"Wanker!" John said without venom.

"When can you get here, I want to surprise Siani."

"Siani? Is that the name she's going by now?"

Jack nodded.

"I can be there in a few days. I need to wrap things up here and then I'll be free of this contract. Who knows, maybe I'll settle down, on Earth, in Wales. Goddess, that's something I never thought I'd say!"

Jack grinned. "Trust me when I say that it grows on you. So we'll see you soon then. You'll be staying with us at Ianto's house. You've got you work cut out for you there. Word of advice, drop the Eye Candy."

"Fine, fine. I only said it because he blushes so prettily!"

"Oi! That's my Welshman, find your own!"

"Maybe I will! I've got to go; this signal blocker only has so much power. I'll be there in a few days. And Shae?"

"Yeah?"

"Thank you."

"We'll see you in a few days." He smiled at his brother-in-law and terminated the call before making his way back up to the Hub.

They were able to have a delicious, if tense, lunch of pad Thai before a call came in from the local authorities. There had been a lorry accident, and the cargo seemed to be a little out of the ordinary. And so continued Siani's first official day at Torchwood . . .

Chapter Text

Chapter 14 - She's a Maniac

Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008 - Torchwood, Monday afternoon

Jack, Siani, Ianto, Owen, and Gwen had just returned from retrieving the obviously alien meat from the Harwood's lorry accident.

While at the site, Owen had been taking a sample of the meat for examination, when Siani noted that they were being watched intently by a man on the other side of the accident site. He seemed particularly intent upon watching Gwen, and he attempted to follow them once they had returned to the SUV.

As they came into the Hub through the garage entrance, Siani spoke to Jack through their link.

We were being watched at the scene Shae.

What did they look like?

Siani showed Jack through her mind the memory of the man watching them.

That's Rhys, Gwen's boyfriend.

The one that is the manager of the haulage firm?

Yeah. I wonder what he was doing there. He obviously now realizes that Gwen works for us.

How do you want to handle it?

I'm not sure yet, let's wait and see how this plays out. Gwen's going to cause trouble on this one; we'll need to watch her closely.

When does she not cause trouble? Siani scoffed inwardly.

Good point. Let Yan know what we're dealing with will you?

Okay. I think we need to find out more about this Rhys.

Check with Yan, they grew up not far from one another if I remember correctly.

I'll take care of it.

They returned to the main Hub where the Doctor immediately joined Owen in the med bay to examine the meat sample. Not long afterward they came back to report on their findings.

"There is evidence of a vertebral column but its genetic makeup isn't compatible with any known animal."

"Any idea what it is?" Jack asked.

Gwen was being uncharacteristically quiet, and seemed distracted during the exchange.

The Doctor answered, "I believe I know what it is Jack, but I really hope that I'm wrong."

"Why is that? Is it unsafe?" Ianto asked.

The Doctor and Owen both shook their heads, and Owen continued. "No. But whoever is farming this meat knows it's dodgy. You see this? Official vet stamp, 'Fit for human consumption.' It's fake. It's good, but it's fake."

Jack walked over toward Tosh's station where Ianto stood beside her.

"Tosh, get on to the haulage firm. Find out where that meat is from and where it's heading."

Gwen began to follow Jack as he moved back across the Hub.

"Why does it have to be Rhys's firm? It's a bit too close to home." Gwen said quietly.

"You want to stand down?" Jack asked, inwardly hoping that she would.

"No! I want to find out what's going on."

Ianto had prepared everyone coffee and was handing them out before he went to stand next to Siani by Owen's desk.

Tosh pulled up Harwood's website and waited as the intro played.

"Who can you trust?

Who can you trust to transport your cars?

Harwood's!

You won't be sorry with a Harwood's lorry!"

Gwen fought a smile and Ianto quipped, "Catchy."

"Do you think the haulage firm might be in on it, too?" Tosh wondered aloud.

Gwen immediately replied, "Rhys? No! He doesn't know what goes in the vans, he just hires them out."

"Driver must have seen it loaded." Ianto observed.

"That doesn't implicate Rhys." Gwen insisted. "He's the most honest man I know."

Had their link been established Ianto and Siani would have laughed as the same thought came to both of them. Then what the hell is he doing with you?

"Have you got his direct line?" Tosh asked. Gwen nodded and gave the number to Tosh.

The Doctor had moved to sit on the couch, obviously deep in thought and troubled. Owen joined Siani and Ianto, sitting in his chair as they leaned against his desk.

Tosh dialed the number and waited for an answer. After a moment, the receptionist answered.

"Harwood's Haulage. How may I help you?"

"Yes, this is Detective Inspector Davies. May I speak with your manager please?" Tosh answered.

"It's the police." They heard the woman say over the speakerphone.

"Hello?" Rhys said, picking up the line.

"Hello, is this Rhys Williams, the manager of Harwood's?"

"Yeah, speaking."

"Mr. Williams my name is DI Davies with the Cardiff Police. We reported to the scene of an accident earlier today involving one of your trucks." Tosh said.

Rhys replied, "Yes, I'm aware of the accident."

"I'm very sorry for the loss of your driver Mr. Williams, but I need to obtain whatever information you have on the company from which the driver picked up his delivery prior to the accident."

They heard papers shuffling in the background before Rhys continued.

"It's a firm called Harris & Harris. They came to us about two months back. It's a weekly contract."

Ianto took note of the company and indicated to Owen that he needed to use his computer.

"Are they licensed?" Tosh asked.

"Yeah, of course they're licensed!" Rhys said, sounding angry.

"Could you give me their address?"

More shuffling of papers could be heard and Siani and Jack exchanged a glance. Rhys Williams was starting to look a little suspicious.

"There's no address down here." Rhys said wearily.

"There's a pickup point. They said it was hard to find." They heard the receptionist say in the background.

Ianto handed a folded note to Jack who looked at it before handing it off to Tosh.

"No, sorry, all I've got is a service station on the A470, 15 miles from Cardiff."

"Do you have their contact number?"

Rhys was apparently checking the logs again as the sound of papers being moved could be heard.

"No, there's no contact number either."

"Can you tell me where your driver took the meat?"

"Yes, he was taking it to Caerwen Abattoir. It's a processing plant, just, uh gen—a gen-general meat suppliers."

Jack gestured to the note he had handed Tosh, she nodded her head and waved him off. He dramatically threw up his hands and the others stifled their laughter.

"What time did the driver leave base?" Tosh asked.

"Uh, signed out at 10 to 1:00. Can I ask, what's this about?"

"I can't release that information, sir. Thanks for your cooperation." Tosh disconnected the call and turned to the others.

Ianto had been checking the traffic cams during Tosh's conversation with Rhys.

"Got him!" Ianto exclaimed. Everyone turned to look at the computer where Ianto was working.

"There he is, coming back 40 minutes later. (He stops the monitor.) Let's say it takes 20 minutes to load. We are talking a 10-mile radius." Ianto continued typing.

Siani observed. "So we know that it's definitely alien meat. Also, it's from a rather large animal from the looks of things. You'd have to have a pretty sizable facility to conduct that kind of operation."

"Where the hell would they get it from?" Jack said. He could see that the Doctor was extremely upset by whatever it was that he suspected.

"If it's going into the processing plant, that means it's going into pies, burgers, pasties - everything."

Looking disgusted, Gwen said, "That means people have been eating it for months."

Owen came back up from the med bay where he had slipped away to a few moments prior. He used Tosh's computer to pull up the lab results from the meat.

"Well, the DNA traces are stable. There are some signs of animal sedative, but no detectable diseases or residues. My guess is, it's good to eat."

"Would you eat it?" Gwen asked.

They heard the alert that indicated that someone was nearing the tourist office entrance, so Ianto quickly made his way up the stairs. He returned a few moments later carrying several pizza boxes.

"Pizza's arrived – presumed it would be a late one."

Owen sighed, "What'd you get me?"

Ianto replied with a grimace, "Usual - meat feast."

Clearly deflated, Owen said, "Lovely."

As they all began to eat, after picking off the meat, Ianto told them what he had found.

"I've narrowed it down to three potential areas - only one warehouse is unoccupied. It's just outside Merthyr."

"Makes sense," Owen said. "Who knows what goes on there?"

"We've got to shut the operation down, neutralize whoever is doing this, and identify the alien meat." Jack said.

Gwen's phone beeped, indicating that she had received a text. She checked the text message which was from Rhys; it read "Can I see you?"

Jack continued, "Tosh, you can coordinate."

"I have to slip home and check on Rhys first." Gwen said.

"Good idea." Jack said distractedly. "Find out how much he knows."

"That's not what I meant." Gwen said before heading out of the Hub.

"An ounce of compassion, I must say I'm amazed." Siani said after Gwen left.

"It comes and goes apparently." Tosh replied.

"Listen," Jack said. "Once she gets back I'll take her with me to take a look at the warehouse. The rest of you can continue to look into this Harris & Harris, also check the archives to see if we have any information that might indicate what type of alien they captured."

Ianto and Siani both frowned at Jack and the others moved away quickly to complete their tasks. The Doctor once again joined Owen in the med bay.

"I know what you're going to say." Jack addressed Siani and Ianto.

"Oh you do?" Siani said. She was leaning close to Ianto with her arms braced across her chest, and Ianto stood with his arms on his hips; not the most promising body language from either of them.

"Yes." Jack said calmly. "This is the best way to keep an eye on her. She's not going to listen well with Rhys involved. I need to make sure that she's supervised."

"By giving her exactly what she wants?" Siani said angrily. "If she can't be a professional, and her actions could jeopardize the investigation, then why are you letting her in on this one Jack?"

"It's better-"

"Bull shit." Ianto said lowly, startling both Jack and Siani. "That's complete bull shit. I thought we were past this Jack. You would not tolerate this from the rest of us. What the hell makes her so special that even after all your big talk about things changing, you still do the same damn thing?"

"Yan." Jack said while he moved to grasp Ianto's shoulder. Ianto stepped back to avoid the contact, ignoring the hurt look that passed over Jack's face.

"It's not like that Ianto. You know how I feel. I'm trying to make the best out of this situation. If we don't include her she'll go out and try to do things on her own. You know she will."

"Not if she's locked in a bloody cell." Siani said hotly.

"Siani!"

"What? I'm so sick of this. What happened to you? You never used to be this inconsiderate of the people you claim to love. Can't you see how this looks, to her, to us? It's no wonder that Ianto felt second best for so long, and she is convinced that you're in love with her. You go out of your way to make sure that things go smoothly for that incompetent cow, and everyone else is left to do all the work."

Siani turned to head down to the lower levels, but Jack grabbed her arm before she could leave.

"Siani, just wait a minute!"

"Let go of me right now Jack." Siani said in warning. She looked at her husband angrily. "I mean it. I don't want you touching me right now."

Jack quickly drew his hand back as if burnt, the hurt of her words washing over him. Both he and Ianto watched as she quickly made her way down the stairs.

"Yan, you've got to understand-"

"No Jack," Ianto said softly. "I don't. I think I've been more than understanding for far too long. You can't stand in front of us and say things are going to change, and continue to act in the same way that caused our problems to begin with. You apparently have some hang-up with Gwen. You say you don't want her, you don't love her, but then you treat her with more care than the rest of us, even Siani and I. I don't understand, I won't understand. You need to make a choice Jack. You need to choose whether or not you're going to be a leader who treats all of his team members the same, and holds them to the same standard, or if you're going to continue to favor one above the others and then seem perplexed when she feels that she doesn't have to obey the rules. This problem she has with following orders is your fault; you gave her free reign from the moment she flounced into this base. You also need to decide what you want from Siani and me, because I'll be damned if I sit back and let you treat her the way you've treated me all this time. I won't allow it Jack. So make a choice, because this isn't working."

Ianto swiftly turned and left in the same direction that Siani had, leaving Jack standing in the middle of the Hub looking heartbroken and frustrated. The others all made an effort to appear as though they weren't listening to the confrontation; it had been difficult not to since Ianto was practically yelling by the end.

Jack rushed up to his office and slammed the door, making the walls shake, before drawing the blinds. Tosh winced and looked at the Doctor and Owen.

"Good on you mate." Owen said softly. He was proud of Ianto for sticking up for himself. "Well, now what?"

The three looked at each other and the Doctor said, "Let's leave Siani and Ianto alone. I think that they'll need some time together after that. I'll give him a few minutes and then I think I need to have a conversation with an old friend."

Tosh and Owen nodded and distractedly went back to work.

Gwen left Rhys at their apartment as soon as she could get away. How was she supposed to remember that driver's name? Not that it really mattered, she had to get back to the Hub and to Jack. She was determined to have some time alone with him.

Unknown to Gwen, as she is complete pants at surveillance as previously established, Rhys followed her back to the Hub. He watched as she disappeared into what looked to be a tourist shop near the Quay. He decided to wait and see if she would come back out.

Gwen entered the Hub to find it uncharacteristically quiet.

She walked up to Tosh and asked, "Are we going to check out the warehouse tonight?"

"I think so." Tosh replied. "The Doctor was going to get Jack."

The Doctor heard her and made his way toward Jack's office.

"I could-"

"No need Miss Cooper. I need to speak with Jack for a moment before we leave."

Gwen nodded and moved to sit at her desk, waiting impatiently for Jack to come down.

The Doctor knocked on Jack's door, receiving no reply he tied the knob only to find it locked. Deciding that the situation merited a little intervention, he surreptitiously used his sonic screwdriver to open the door.

He entered the darkened office to find Jack with his head cradled in his arms on his desk.

Not moving from his spot Jack said, "Go away Doctor."

Not listening to him, the Doctor closed the door behind him and sat in the chair in front of Jack's desk. He waited silently for Jack to begin; thankfully he didn't have to wait long.

"What do you want Doctor?" Jack asked.

"To help. I would like to think that, in spite of the things that have happened between us, that you would still consider me your friend, Jack."

Jack slowly raised his head from the desk to look at the Time Lord seated across from him. He had obviously been crying if his red swollen eyes were any indication.

"I would like to think so." Jack replied. After a moment he said softly, "What should I do Doc? I feel like such a screw-up. I'm terrified that I'm going to lose them both!"

Looking at his friend with sympathy the Doctor asked, "Can you tell me why you seem to favor Miss Cooper over the others? I will admit that it doesn't look good Jack. I can understand why Ianto and Siani are upset."

Jack sighed and ran his hand through his hair in a very Ianto-like gesture.

"I don't know Doc. I really only brought her on board initially because she knew my secret and she had broken through the Retcon already. She knew my secret and no one else did, so I guess that I may have talked to her a little more initially because of that. I never wanted anything with her, she has Rhys, and I wanted Ianto. You know that I flirt with everyone."

The Doctor nodded, and Jack continued.

"That must be what made her think that I wanted her. I still don't get that though. She made it very plain that she was willing. So if I had really wanted her, why would I hesitate? She isn't as skilled as the others, she doesn't have their knowledge and prior training, and I felt that she needed the extra help. Now that I look back I can see that it was a stupid move to bring her in, she's not qualified. I think I did it more out of fear and self-preservation than anything else, she knew my secret, so I had keep her close in order to insure that she wouldn't tell anyone. After a while, she started to remind me of Rose."

"Rose!" The Doctor exclaimed. "My Rose? Rose Tyler?"

Jack nodded. He looked a little taken aback by the Doctor's reaction.

"I don't see how that's so shocking?" Jack said.

"It's shocking," The Doctor replied after he collected himself. "Because if Rose were here right now she'd probably slap you just like Jackie!"

It was Jack's turn to look shocked. "What do you mean?"

"I mean that she would be extremely insulted that Miss Cooper could remind you of her in any way."

"But-"

"No Jack. You asked us for our help yesterday, so you'll get it. I've observed Miss Cooper during my time here. She is nothing like Rose. All of her wide-eyed innocence and supposed compassion for others is an act. She's not genuine like Rose. That woman is selfish, calculating, and obsessive."

"I-I don't know what to say. I guess I just saw what I wanted to see; I suppose that I was hoping to get my friend back." Jack sighed. "So where do I go from here, how do I fix this?"

"I'd say it's time to listen to your mates my friend. You've been granted an amazing gift. You know how rare it is to find all of your mates with the type of bond you have. You can't continue to behave this way and expect them to simply sit back and take it. You make them feel small and insignificant Jack. You are the leader of your bond; I think that it is past time for you to take that responsibility seriously. Their welfare should be your first concern above everything else. Stop living in the past, you don't need to grieve for your friend any more. Rose is safe and living her life. She would want the same for you. She wanted you to live Jack, and to be happy. So if you want to remember Rose, do that for her."

Jack was crying again by this time. The Doctor stood and walked to Jack's side, opening his arms to his friend. Jack immediately stood up and fell into the Doctor's arms, trying desperately to compose himself.

"What do I do now? They're both so hurt and angry with me!"

"Give them some time, and then I think a little groveling wouldn't hurt. Then you need to tell them what you just told me; but you need to commit to change your actions Jack. When you tell them one thing and act on another, they begin to feel that you cannot be trusted. I'll go with you tonight with Miss Cooper to survey this warehouse. Then if you don't mind, I'll spend the night at your new home. We can talk some more if you need to; we can talk about the year that never was."

Jack stepped back from his friend and squeezed his shoulders.

"Thanks Doctor, I think I'll take you up on that. Just give me a few minutes and I'll meet you in the Hub."

The Doctor nodded and left Jack to compose himself. He made his way down the stairs.

"Miss Cooper, Jack will be coming down in a few moments. The three of us will be going to this warehouse to see what we can find out tonight."

Gwen got up and grabbed her things. She made her way over to the Doctor to wait for Jack.

A few moments later, a much more composed Jack emerged from his office.

"Alright, Doctor, Gwen let's head out. Tosh we'll let you know once we're near the warehouse."

"I'll be watching." Tosh replied.

The Doctor and Gwen moved over to the invisible lift and waited for Jack. Before he left though, Jack stepped over to Tosh's station and spoke to her quietly.

"Tosh, when they come out will you let them know that the Doctor is with me, and that he's coming to stay with us tonight?"

"Of course Jack." She smiled at him in approval.

He nodded his thanks and walked over to the lift to stand with the Doctor and Gwen as they ascended. The Doctor had subtly placed himself in between Gwen and Jack so that she would not be able to grab onto him.

Once they reached the plass they stepped off of the lift and made their way to where the SUV was parked. They failed to notice the shocked Rhys who saw them seemingly appear out of nowhere.

He watched his fiancée walk off into the night with two handsome men. He followed them to a warehouse near Merthyr, and observed them checking the place over. Rhys figured that this must have something to do with the accident today, and he was determined to find out how. After they returned to their vehicle, a great bloody thing with 'Torchwood' emblazoned on it, he waited a few moments before checking things out for himself and then returning home.

Rhys decided to return the next morning to get to the bottom of what was going on with this company, and hopefully find out why Torchwood was so interested. He was none too happy with Gwen at that moment; he could understand the need for secrecy, but she had outright lied to him. She could have told him she was working in Special Ops or something, anything.

Hopefully tomorrow would bring answers, and he would find out what, if anything else his fiancée was lying to him about.

While all of this was happening Ianto was deep within Torchwood searching for his mate. Not being bonded yet made it more challenging, but he found that if he focused enough he could feel a pull towards her.

When he finally found her deep within the archives he felt his heart break a little. She was curled up into a ball in a remote corner, sobbing uncontrollably.

Ianto knelt down, pulled off his jacket, and placed it around her shoulders before he drew her into his arms. He held her close and let her cry for what felt like an eternity.

Several minutes later Siani calmed down enough to stop sobbing and pulled back a little from Ianto's chest.

"You're shirt's ruined." She said as she ran her hand over the large wet spot on his dress shirt.

"It doesn't matter." Ianto replied gently. "Are you alright?"

She looked up at him through her lashes; her face was red and tear-streaked.

"I don't know Yan. I don't know how you dealt with this for so long! He wasn't like this before; I just don't understand what could cause him to be so hurtful."

Ianto moved to sit next to Siani and lean against the wall where he drew her against his side.

"I can't answer that. This is all I've ever known with Jack, other than the last few weeks. He seemed to be making an effort to change, now it seems like he's starting to act the way he did before he left."

"You have the patience of a saint. I've only been here a few days and I can't stand it!"

Ianto sighed. "Honestly, after everything that happened with Lisa, I didn't feel like I deserved any happiness. Jack became a bright spot in the darkness for me when I couldn't escape to my dreams, and you. So I guess I was afraid to make any demands. I was afraid that if I said anything that he would end it, so I never did."

"Oh Yan. If it wouldn't break both of our hearts, I'd shoot him for that alone. I'm really trying here Yan. I know that I haven't spoken much about my time in captivity, but I'm still trying to work through all of that. All of those images and sounds they feed me over the years keep replaying in my mind. I keep telling myself that they are not true and that Jack never did those things; but then he acts like this, and they all come flooding back to me."

She began to cry softly again.

"I think," Ianto said. "That we all have some healing to do; and none of us are going to be able to do so unless we support each other. I'm in this Isi, completely. I don't care what other people here think or say about us. I love you, both of you; and I'm committed to making this work. We just need to find out if Jack feels the same."

Ianto stared off into the distance looking troubled. Siani gently placed her hand on the side of his face and pulled him into a kiss.

"I love you too Yan, so very much. I'm willing to make this work too, but what about this situation with Cooper and Jack's behavior toward her? It makes my blood boil to think of her alone with him. It's exactly the type of situation that she will try to take advantage of; God knows what she might try."

"You don't think-"

Siani shook her head. "No, I know he won't do anything. He wouldn't do that to us. She, on the other hand, won't hesitate."

"Right," Ianto said. He stood up and reached down to pull Siani up from the cold floor. "Let's go find out what's going on upstairs. It's getting late, maybe we'll be able to head home soon."

"Okay, I just need to stop off in the washroom before we join the others."

Taking her hand, Ianto lead them out through the archive labyrinth, stopping to give Siani a chance to freshen up before continuing on to the main Hub.

They returned to find only Tosh and Owen in the Hub. Tosh seemed to be tracking the SUV and Owen was leaning back in his desk chair with his feet up.

"So, what's the status?" Ianto asked.

Owen glanced over at the couple and replied, "They've just arrived at the warehouse, and everything looks quiet so far. The Doctor went along to lend a hand."

Ianto and Siani glanced at each other. Both were excessively glad that the Doctor had gone with them.

"Remind me to buy that man some bananas." Ianto said.

Siani smiled. "Is he off your list now?"

Ianto raised a brow at her, "Don't get ahead of yourself."

Siani and Tosh both laughed and Owen grinned.

"Well, the way I see it mate," Owen said. "He's an alright bloke. He's completely mental of course; but he definitely seems to be trying to help you three."

"See, even Owen thinks so." Siani said as she nudged Ianto's arm. Ianto rolled his eyes in reply.

"Tosh," they heard Jack's voice over the comms. "We're heading back now, we got what we needed. We're going to drop Gwen off at her car and then the Doctor and I are heading out. Check with Ianto before you guys leave for the night, alright?"

"Alright Jack." Tosh replied. "We'll see you in the morning."

"Have a good night Tosh," Came Jack's uncharacteristically serious reply before he switched off the comms.

"Well, that was an uncharacteristically smooth operation for one in which Gwen was involved." Tosh commented. "I guess we'll find out tomorrow what they discovered. What are you two going to do?"

"We're going home; we're not going to run away from this." Ianto said.

"Good," Tosh replied. "But just so you know, I've got a spare room at my place if you ever need it."

"Thanks Tosh," Siani said. She reached forward tentatively to give Tosh a hug, only to be engulfed in the smaller woman's arms.

"It will work out." Tosh whispered to her. "You three are meant to be, and I don't believe that anything, let alone Gwen Cooper, will get in the way of what you have."

Siani squeezed her and whispered back her thanks.

"Alright, Almighty Tea Boy, can we get out of here now?" Owen snarked.

"Decaf, Owen, Decaf." Ianto replied; he, Siani, and Tosh laughed as Owen paled.

"Yes we can go home."

"Anybody need a ride?" Owen asked, being strangely generous.

"We don't. Yan drove his car this morning."

"He let you in the Audi?" Tosh said teasingly.

"I know, I'm shocked. He only made me take off my shoes and put them in a plastic bag before he would let me in it." Siani smiled and rolled her eyes.

"Hey, a man has to protect his car!" Owen said.

"Exactly! He gets it." Ianto said as they made their way out of the Hub. "God, I'm looking to Owen for reassurance, it's surely a sign of the apocalypse."

Owen flipped him off while the girls laughed.

"Haven't we already done the apocalypse?" Tosh said.

"Apparently there's more than one if you work for Torchwood." Ianto replied.

"Tosh, you want a ride home?" Owen asked as Tosh stepped toward the curb to hail a taxi.

"Well, sure if you don't mind, that would be great."

"No problem, you're on the way." Owen and Tosh walked toward his car while Ianto and Siani got into his Audi (after Siani removed her shoes of course).

"Have a good night!" Siani called out to them, and Owen and Tosh waved in reply.

"So, home?' Siani asked Ianto once he backed out of the parking space.

"Yeah, let's pick up some take-away. It's late and I don't care to cook. What do you think?"

"That's fine. Should we pick some up for Jack and the Doctor as well?"

"Probably, I doubt they'll think to do it themselves." Ianto reached down and took Siani's hand.

"How does Italian sound?"

"Molto buono!" Siani replied with a grin.

"Smart ass." Ianto laughed as he brought her hand to his lips and placed a kiss on the back.

"You love me anyway."

Ianto looked over at her while they were stopped at a red light. "I most certainly do."

~~~~~~

Gwen was frustrated by the time Jack and the Doctor dropped her off back at the Hub to pick up her car. Jack had been all business, and she didn't have a chance to talk with him all night. The Doctor was constantly there, getting in the way.

Ever since she was assaulted by the bitch otherwise known as Jack's wife, she had been wracking her brain for a way to get rid of her. She obviously couldn't do it directly, Jack wouldn't like that. Obviously Ianto was no longer an option. She needed someone that would want her away from Jack as much a she did, someone completely unscrupulous, but also someone that wouldn't be a threat to her once the job was done.

She was about to drive off when an idea struck her. There was one person she knew of that would hate the idea of Jack being married as much as she did, and Jack had already turned him down. She smiled to herself and killed the engine, making her way into the deserted Hub.

Gwen ignored most of the things Tosh said to her, but one thing she did remember was how to operate the communications wavelength.

She logged into her computer, and pulled up the incident report from John Hart's visit which logged the signal of his teleportation device. It took a while, especially since she had to make it look like she wasn't looking for that report in particular. Finally she had the appropriate code located, then all she had to do was create the message and send it on; she would easily delete her activity so that Tosh couldn't see what she had done.

After thinking a few moments she wrote out the message that was sure to unleash hell on Siani Harkness:

Vera. Disturbing news. Jack's "wife" TW. Thought you ought to know. GC

Smiling she sent the message, powered down her computer and left the Hub. She would have Jack all to herself soon. John Hart could take care of the Amazon, and she would take care of Ianto. She'd give him a chance to leave, she is after all, the heart of Torchwood; but if he refuses for any reason, then steps will have to be taken.

Not long after Tosh walked in her front door, her PDA alerted her to activity in the Hub. She quickly sat her things down and sighed.

So much for some wine and a bath.

She opened her laptop and pulled up the Hub surveillance system on Mainframe.

"That little bitch!" Tosh said.

She watched as Gwen began to pull up the incident report concerning John Hart. Everything she did was being recorded and her computer activity logged.

"Tosh will never know." She heard Gwen say as she did a basic activity deletion.

Tosh laughed, "Oh you idiot! That wouldn't have stopped me in primary. Oh they are going to love this!"

She copied the surveillance and emailed it to Jack and Ianto before picking up her phone to send a text.

 

Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008 - 36 Tynged-Dragwyddol

Siani and Ianto had just settled at the dining room table and began their meal when Jack and the Doctor arrived. She glanced toward the front of the house nervously, laying her fork on her plate and looking at Ianto. He smiled at her reassuringly and got up to greet them.

Jack was equally nervous as he led the Doctor into the house. He wasn't sure what kind of reception awaited him; Siani had not spoken to him through their link at all since the argument early in the day. The Doctor was busy looking around the foyer and paid no attention as Jack pulled his coat off of him to hang it up in the closet.

"This is brilliant Jack!"

Smiling for the first time in hours Jack replied, "Yeah it is. It's all Yan; well, I understand that he got some of the ideas from Siani. It is beautiful."

"I love it here, its home." Jack said quietly, fear coloring his words.

Just then Ianto came around the corner from the dining room, and Jack looked at him nervously. Ianto replied with a tight smile.

"Doctor, welcome to our home. Tosh mentioned that you were going to stay with us tonight?"

The Doctor started to reply but was interrupted by Jack.

"I'm sorry Yan." Jack shook his head. "I invited him, I should have asked first." Jack fidgeted.

"No, it's alright. This is your home too Jack, you don't have to ask." Jack looked at him intently as he said this.

Jack felt his heart constrict when Ianto said that this was his home too. He had been so afraid that he had ruined things for good, that they wouldn't want him anymore. Now he had a home; the first real home for him in over 150 years.

He started to reply, but found himself choked by tears. Ianto looked at him in understanding.

"Doctor, you're more than welcome. In fact, we have plenty of room, and you are welcome to stay with us while you're here, and in the future should you decide to visit."

The Doctor smiled at Ianto and shook his hand.

"Thank you Ianto, I appreciate that."

He knew that he still had a ways to go with the Welshman, but this was promising.

"Siani and I stopped off for Italian for us all on the way home. Everything is in the dining room if you're hungry."

"I could eat." The Doctor said. He looked to Jack, who nodded and indicated that he should follow Ianto.

Upon entering the dining room Ianto indicated for the Doctor to sit to the right of where he was seated at the head of the table. This placed him directly across from Siani, who smiled at him as he joined them.

Jack moved hesitantly to sit next to Siani on Ianto's left. Once he was seated Siani looked at him, both of them simply gazing at one another for several moments. Finally Jack broke the silence between them by speaking through their bond.

I know that I have no right to ask, but please forgive me. I know that we have to discuss this still and I understand that you're hurt and angry; you have every right to be. For now though, just know that I'm so sorry, and that I plan to prove it to you both from here on out. I love you, and I'm not about to lose you again.

By the time he finished speaking Siani was crying softly. Ianto and the Doctor remained quiet, allowing the couple to speak silently. Ianto watched them, happy that they were taking a step in the right direction, and also hoping that it wouldn't be long before he would be able to converse with them in the same manner.

Siani finally replied.

I love you too, so much. But you're right; we do have a lot to discuss. We're a team, the three of us. We need to know that we can count on you. For now, let's just enjoy the evening, there will be time to talk about this all after this case is over.

Jack smiled and reached over to squeeze his wife's hand before turning to the food.

"This looks wonderful!" He said. "Is it from that little place we went to Yan?"

Ianto smiled at Jack, remembering their first real date.

"Yeah, I really wanted their chicken pomodoro, but considering recent events we stuck with vegetarian options."

Wrinkling his nose Jack nodded.

"Yeah, that was the best decision, definitely. We joke about mystery meat, but this just takes it to a new level."

"So," Siani said as she twirled her linguine around her fork. "Did you find anything at the warehouse?"

"We found evidence that it's definitely occupied."

Jack was distracted as he watched Siani push her hair behind her ear and then lean forward to try to get the pasta in her mouth. After she had dropped it for the third time he couldn't help but laugh, which the other two men quickly joined him in doing.

Siani glared at them all.

"How are you supposed to eat this without it falling off the fork constantly?" She huffed.

Still laughing, Jack placed his arms around her and showed her how to use the fork and spoon together to keep it on the fork. He kissed the side of her neck before pulling away to continue his meal, receiving a small smile in return.

"Ianto Gareth, why didn't you tell me this?" Siani said as she frowned at Ianto.

He simply grinned.

"You did it on purpose didn't you? Prat!"

They all laughed, and the atmosphere finally began to relax as they all enjoyed their meal.

The Doctor said, "They are definitely hiding something at the warehouse. It's locked up too tightly for people that don't have anything to hide. We weren't able to get a good look inside, but they do seem to keep a small contingent there over night."

"So no trouble?" Ianto asked.

Jack shook his head.

"We were able to stop Gwen from trying to go up and talk to one of the guards. She seemed to think that they wouldn't question her coming out of nowhere and asking questions well after regular business hours."

Ianto and Siani both rolled their eyes.

"Do you get a complete medical history on your employees before they start at Torchwood? I think her parents may have dropped her, repeatedly, as a child."

Ianto choked on his food, and Jack and the Doctor laughed.

"Alright there Yan?" Jack asked glibly.

"Screw you." Ianto said playfully.

"Sweetheart, we have company. I don't think he'd appreciate that right now." Jack winked at him.

The Doctor shook his head and said, "I didn't realize there would be a dinner show!"

They all laughed and moved on to discussing more benign topics, spending the remainder of their meal talking of plans for the upcoming operation, and about some of the places the Doctor and Jack had visited with Rose during their travels.

Once everyone was finished they started to clear up; Jack mentioned to Ianto and Siani that he and the Doctor were going to visit for a while about the year that never was. Both of them insisted that he and the Doctor retire to the family room, and that they would finish cleaning up their meal.

"Are you sure?" Jack asked.

"Go on," Ianto insisted. "You need to talk to him about this Jack. You'll never be able to move on from it if you don't."

"Alright. We will try not to talk too long, we have an early morning."

"Ugh!" Siani exclaimed. "Don't remind me."

She had never been a morning person, so having two mates that were felt like some kind of cosmic punishment.

Jack and Ianto smiled at her groaning.

"Let's go Doc." Jack said, showing the Doctor into the kitchen and towards the stairs. Before he ascended the stairs he turned to his two mates and said, "So I'll see you both after a while?"

He didn't want to assume that they would want him in their bed that night.

"Of course," Siani said quickly. "We'll keep your spot warm for you." She said with a smile.

He broke into one of his megawatt grins and stepped back into the kitchen, kissing both of them soundly before going back to lead the Doctor up to the family room.

As they proceeded up the stairs the Doctor squeezed his friend's shoulder, grinning happily at him when he turned back to look at him. Jack smiled in return. All was not lost.

So while the Doctor and Jack settled in to have a long overdue and difficult talk, Ianto and Siani cleared away the remnants of their dinner. They made a pot of tea before heading upstairs to their bedroom. They thought of taking some to the two men, but thought better of it. There were the necessary items in the family room to make tea should they want any, and they felt that this was a talk that shouldn't be interrupted.

They settled into the sitting area in their room to enjoy their tea and talk about happier things. They spoke of their upcoming bonding, some of their hopes for the future, and Siani told Ianto about the early days of her marriage to Jack.

Once their tea had been drained and their giggles at some of Jack's past antics calmed, they prepared for bed. They had just settled into bed, each with a book, when Ianto's phone went off indicating that he had received a text.

He picked up his phone and checked the message, frowning as he read it.

"Is something wrong?" Siani asked.

"I'm not sure." He replied. "It's from Tosh. All she says is 'check your email.'"

"Well, I guess we should then."

"But I just got comfortable." He joked as he unwound his legs from hers.

"Come on you old man, up you get." She pushed him up and out of the bed.

"So bossy!" Ianto said before smacking her lightly on the bum.

"Hey!" She said, laughing.

"Come on; let's go check this so we can get back to bed." Ianto said as he hugged her from behind, crab-walking her to the stairs on their way to the study.

Ianto sat in the chair at his desk and pulled Siani into his lap, running his hands up and down her legs while the computer powered up.

"Alright," he said as he logged in and pulled up his email. "What has Tosh sent us?"

They both watched as surveillance footage of the Hub appeared on the screen. Seconds later Gwen appeared on the screen and walked over to her desk.

"When is this?" Siani asked.

Ianto checked the time stamp.

"About two hours ago from the looks of things. What is she doing?"

He sped up the footage and watched as Gwen worked on something on her computer for about 45 minutes before logging off and leaving the Hub. The footage ended and Ianto opened the second attachment of the email which appeared to be the on-screen activity from Gwen's computer.

"Why is she pulling up an incident report from months ago?" Siani asked.

Ianto shook his head initially before stilling.

"Oh, for heaven's sake! You've got to be kidding me!"

"What is it?" She asked.

"That's the report from your brother's visit."

"Why would she want that? You don't think she knows do you?" Siani asked, a little unsettled that Gwen might know something that was supposed to only be known by the other members of Torchwood and the Doctor.

"No, it doesn't look like it. It looks like she's trying to send him a message."

They watched intently for some time as they waited for her to type the message, and when she did Ianto exploded.

"Son of a bitch! You've got to be fucking kidding me!" He yelled.

Jack and the Doctor heard him on the floor below in the family room and rushed up the stairs to the study, both red faced from their talk.

"What's wrong?" Jack asked in a panic.

"That little bitch!" Ianto said, thrusting his hand toward the computer screen.

They replayed the surveillance footage and the computer activity for the two men.

"Damnit!" Jack said. "This is just absolutely insane!"

He began to pace the length of the room and the Doctor continued to watch the footage again with a frown.

Siani watched all of the men in the room, struggling to contain herself, and ultimately failing. Her laughter burst through the angry atmosphere of the room, sounding very foreign given the situation.

She laughed and laughed, unable to contain her mirth while the men watched her with confused looks.

"Siani, what is so funny? This is serious." Jack said.

Siani continued to laugh, but was finally able to compose herself enough to reply.

"Don't you see how- funny this is?" She laughed again.

"I fail to see how this could possibly be considered funny." Ianto replied.

"Oh come on, it's hilarious! She's thinking that she's found someone that will be able to get rid of me. Oh I can't wait until she realizes that she just contacted my own brother! This is fabulous!"

She laughed again and the Doctor joined her.

"I will admit that it is a rather ironic turn of events." The Time Lord observed. "I'll have to make sure that the TARDIS records her reaction when she finds out!"

Both Jack and Ianto shook their heads, more concerned with what Gwen's actions implied than the lucky coincidence that her plan had failed.

"Well then," Siani said as she took in the expressions of her mates. "Since you two have the sense of humor of a Judoon at the moment, I'll show the Doctor to his room. We really should turn in now. Come on Doc."

"Nighty night boys." The Doctor said as he followed after Siani.

She showed him to the guest room just across the hall from the study.

"Do you need any clothes to sleep in or any for tomorrow Doctor?" She asked.

"No thank you Siani." The Doctor said with a smile. "I have everything I need with me."

"Well, you have an ensuite just here, and we're just on the floor below should you need anything."

"It's lovely thank you. I'm sure I'll be fine. How are you doing with all of this?"

"Honestly?" She said, sitting on the edge of the bed.

The Doctor sat next to her at the foot of the bed and waited for her to continue.

"I'm a little overwhelmed by it all. So much has changed within such a short amount of time. Two weeks ago I was chained to a wall on a Marwolaethian ship in the 51st century, now I'm here with both of my mates, in this beautiful house. I know that I shouldn't be flippant about Cooper's actions, but I can't help but feel that she is so trivial in the grand scope of things. If we can overcome torture, time, and death to be together, what is one stroppy cow?"

The Doctor laughed.

"I suppose when you put it that way, she does seem pretty unimportant. I can't help but hope that this can all be resolved peacefully, but that hope seems to be dwindling quickly into a fool's hope."

"Fitting." Siani joked.

The Doctor gasped, and held a hand to his chest as if wounded.

"Madame, you wound me with your barbed tongue!"

"Oi! You don't get anywhere near her tongue, thank you! Delectable though it may be, Yan and I don't share with others." Jack exclaimed as he rounded the corner and stood in the doorway smiling.

Though their conversation had been cut short, he felt that what they had been able to discuss helped both he and the Doctor to begin to heal their relationship.

Siani just laughed at Jack's antics and the Doctor's reaction.

"All settled Doctor?" Ianto asked, coming around from behind Jack and placing a hand on Jack's shoulder. Jack smiled over at Ianto and leaned into his touch.

"Yes thank you, it's all lovely."

"Well then, we're stealing our girl back. We'll see you in the morning." Ianto said to the Doctor.

Siani got up to follow her mates out of the room.

They all bid each other goodnight before the Doctor closed the door and the trio went down the stairs to their bedroom.

Ianto and Siani immediately returned to the bed while Jack went into the restroom to get ready for bed. When he came out he was happy to see that they had left the middle of the bed open for him. Even after a few nights they seem to have established a pattern, if someone had a particularly difficult day, or was in need of comfort and reassurance, they were ensconced in the middle of the bed.

He crawled into bed and Ianto and Siani both snuggled in closely. Jack sighed in contentment.

"You know, there is one thing that really does bother me in this whole situation." Siani said as she turned to lie on her side facing them both.

"What's that?" Jack asked as he played with her hair.

"I can't help but feel terrible for her fiancé. What was his name again?"

"Rhys," Ianto replied. "Rhys Williams."

"It's always about Bond with you isn't it?" Jack joked, looking over at Ianto's face. "I feel like I should be a little worried with how much you seem to like sexy spies in suits!"

Ianto grinned and thumped him on the forehead softly.

"Seriously though, you're right Isi. Rhys is a good bloke; he doesn't deserve to be treated this way."

"I've never actually met him," Jack said. "But from the way she talked about him when she first came to Torchwood he seems like a good man, but not overly bright or ambitious."

Ianto scoffed, "That's complete crap. We may have grown up in the estate, but that doesn't make us idiots. Rhys did really well on his A-levels; he actually went to Uni here in Cardiff. Finished his MSc in Transport and Planning. She never mentions that though, because she barely passed her BSc in Criminology. He's only been at Harwood's for about five years now, and he's managing the entire company."

"I didn't know all that." Jack said. "Maybe we should try to hire him." He said as a joke.

"Might not be a bad idea." Siani said.

Jack looked at her incredulously.

"I agree, we could use someone with Rhys' skills, he's definitely someone to consider as we expand. Any way you look at it he'd be infinitely better than Gwen."

Siani nodded in agreement, and Jack lay quietly, thinking over everything they had said.

"I'm exhausted, let's deal with all that tomorrow alright?" Ianto said to the other two.

"Sounds good to me." Jack said. Siani merely nodded and yawned.

Jack smiled at them both, so happy to hold them both close.

Ianto leaned up to kiss him, allowing his tongue to slip into Jack's mouth. He kissed him slowly, tasting him, and making him feel thoroughly loved. They pulled back reluctantly, kissing again several times briefly before turning to Siani, only to find her already asleep on Jack's chest.

They both chuckled softly so as not to wake her and turned out the lights.

"Goodnight Jack." Ianto said as he laid his head next to Siani's on Jack's chest.

"Goodnight my love." Jack replied before kissing first Ianto's and then Siani's heads before lying back, and after a few minutes allowing sleep to take him.

Across town a very different scene was playing out; a couple lay next to each other in bed, both pretending to be asleep.

They were each turned away from the other and lost in their thoughts. One pondered on the things he had learned that day and worried over the state of his relationship with the woman next to him.

The other was consumed with fantasies of another man, a man that despite all of her scheming would never be hers.

Chapter Text

Chapter 15 - You Can't Always Get What You Want

Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008 - Torchwood, Tuesday Morning

After an early start (much too early in Siani's opinion), the trio and the Doctor arrived at the Hub to prepare for the day. Jack and the Doctor were in Jack's office going over what they had observed last night in order to formulate a plan for the infiltration of the warehouse.

Ianto had started the coffee and then began to check the SUV to make sure it was supplied for their operation. Siani went along to help, which was an exercise in futility because Ianto would not allow her to lift anything heavier than a notebook.

When Tosh arrived they were still in the garage, so she went ahead and poured her own coffee before making her way up to Jack's office to check in with him.

Siani was bored and frustrated, she loved that Ianto tried to pamper and protect her but she felt a little useless. Not to mention the fact that watching him stretching, bending, and lifting things did nothing to curb the other kind of frustration she felt.

She had already mapped out the locations of all of the security cameras in the parking garage, and it just so happened that the rear portion of the SUV was in a blind spot. And Ianto just happened to be in the back of the SUV arranging things. This was too good of an opportunity to pass up; she could accomplish two goals at once, her last bit of punishment for Jack cutting off their link, and rewarding Ianto all at once. It definitely wouldn't be a hardship for her either.

Climbing into the SUV behind Ianto, she closed the door drawing his attention to her. Ianto raised a brow in question and the next moment found his arms full his mate. Not one to pass up such an opportunity, he kissed her hard, his lips devouring hers hungrily. Their hands roamed each other's bodies, caressing and arousing each other.

Ianto tried to speak between kisses.

"Not - that I'm - mmm complaining - ohhhhhh - should - stop - cameras." He was easily distracted by Siani straddling his lap and rubbing against his arousal in a circular motion.

Siani pulled back for a second, giving him a naughty grin and simply saying, "Dead spot."

She dove back in and began to loosen his tie, pulling it out from his collar but leaving it tied in a loose Windsor knot. She began to rain open-mouthed kisses down his neck, sucking gently as she went. Ianto quickly unbuttoned her blouse, revealing the green lace bra she wore beneath it. He moaned in appreciation before cupping each breast in a hand and teasing her nipples

It was Siani's turn to moan, and she pressed her breasts further into his hands.

Deftly untucking his shirt, she began to unbutton it, thankful that he had left his suit jacket inside. She pressed kisses to his chest as it was revealed little by little.

"Ohhh, I love you." She said breathily.

Ianto, who had one hand buried in her hair and the other gently squeezing her breast, moaned loudly when Siani licked his left nipple, before replying.

"Fwyc! Oh, I love you too! Come here!"

He drew her back up kissing her lips again deeply, taking time to experience the heat, taste, and feel of her lips beneath his own.

Siani broke away, once again kissing and licking her way down his lightly haired chest. At the same time she began to unfasten his belt and trousers, causing Ianto's already shortened breaths to speed up even more.

"Isi?" He panted.

"Mmm, yes my love?" Siani said as she licked his defined abs.

"You don't have to-"

"Oh I know, but I want to, you have no idea how much I want to." Siani said, making eye contact as she caressed him through his boxer briefs.

"Shite that feels so good!" He cried out.

Siani started to pull down his briefs and trousers, and he lifted up to help. Finally she was able to pull him free of his pants, leaving them pooled at his knees.

She gripped his member firmly and jacked it up and down. Ianto seemed to have lost the ability to speak at this point, only managing to moan as Siani gently cupped and caressed his balls. Siani gazed at his member hotly, he was gorgeous, everything about this man was gorgeous. His penis was a little larger than average, from what she understood; it seemed to be just a little longer than Jack's.

Siani looked up to find him watching her intently, not realizing how many times he had fantasized about this exact scenario over the years. They locked gazes and he watched as she slowly leaned forward and took the head of his cock into her mouth.

Groaning and panting now, Ianto ran a hand through her hair, not pushing her but simply maintaining contact.

She ran her tongue around the head, alternating strokes between his glans and slit, which drove him wild. It was all he could do to restrain himself from grabbing her, tearing off her clothes, and sinking into her depths. Even as he thought about it though, he felt as if there were some kind of invisible barrier holding him back from doing so. Interesting though that was, it wasn't enough to distract him from the pleasure his mate was gifting him with.

Siani startled him by taking more of him into her mouth, sucking and licking as she began to bob her head up and down on his shaft, her hand working what wasn't in her mouth. He reached down and took her freed hand in his, lacing their fingers together. She took increasingly more of him into her mouth with every pass until only an inch or so remained. She took great care to observe his reactions, and adjusted her technique to maximize his pleasure.

After only a few moments Ianto felt himself losing control. He had wanted this for so long; adding to that the fact that she was superb, and that he had been without sex for much longer than normal, made him extremely sensitive.

Siani heard his increased breathing and felt his balls begin to draw up signaling his impending release.

Ianto caressed her hair, relishing this first of what he knew would be many experiences.

"Isi! Oh yes, like that! Ah I'm going to cum!"

Ianto's body seized with pleasure, his hips lifting from the floor as he came. Siani relished causing her mate to lose control like this. As he began to cum she drew him deep into her mouth, drinking him down. She pulled up partly once he was almost finished, allowing his essence to fill her mouth before swallowing. Strange as it may seem, in her time, experiencing the taste of your lover for the first time would become a key step in strengthening the relationship prior to bonding.

Siani pulled back and gazed up at her lover, who was even more beautiful in the afterglow of pleasure. He was flushed and panting, and looked thoroughly debauched as he sat naked from shoulder to knee.

"Most amazing experience ever." Ianto said once he finally caught his breath.

He took both of her hands and pulled her up next to him, drawing her into a passionate kiss. Her lips were pink and swollen, and he could taste himself in her mouth. It was better that he had dared to dream.

"Come here, your turn." Ianto said as he began to caress her again.

"Later." Siani said and received a frown in return. "We've already been gone too long, everyone should be in now, and I imagine Jack is none too happy at the moment."

Siani said all of this with a smug smile.

"Why's that?" Ianto asked, trying to make his brain begin to reason once again.

"Well, since he was able to see everything we just did I imagine he's now figured out that he forgot all of what we can still do before bonding. He's going to be Grumpy Jack!" Siani said with a grin.

"Should I be worried that you seem to be enjoying torturing him so much?" Ianto asked, tucking himself back into his pants and trousers before kissing her again.

"Mmm, nope, not unless you pull the same stunt in the future."

"Note to self . . ." Ianto quipped.

Siani smiled widely and enjoyed him kissing along the tops of her breasts as she buttoned his shirt. They continued to kiss softly as they righted their clothes, and then exited the SUV, making sure not to leave any evidence of their activities and straightening each other's clothes and hair.

Grumpy Jack was indeed in full force once they returned to the Hub. Ianto immediately veered off to the kitchenette to remake more coffee while Siani joined the others in the conference room.

"The SUV is loaded." She said as she entered the room.

Most of them just nodded as they were intent upon going over the mission plan; however Jack was glaring at her. Of course Gwen noticed and failed miserably at keeping a pleased smile off of her face. Any conflict between the two was a good thing in her view.

Jack was standing in his typical stance, feet spread apart and arms crossed, a few feet back from the head of the table where everyone was working. Siani ignored his glare and stepped directly in front of him, mere inches separating their bodies. She placed her hands on his arms and leaned up on her toes to be able to whisper in his ear.

"Have you learned your lesson mela?"

Jack growled softly so only she could hear. He leaned down so she wouldn't have to stretch and whispered back.

"That was very mean. I had to run out of here and take care of the problem you two caused."

Squeezing his arms she replied, "Sorry I missed that. You know you loved every minute though."

Finally dropping the frown he grinned down at her, dropping his hands to her hips and pulling her into a brief kiss. Unfortunately considering the setting he couldn't show her just how much he had loved it.

"Yeah, I did, but next time you have to share. He's beautiful isn't he?" Jack said, looking up as Ianto entered the room. He blushed slightly when he met Jack's gaze, only to receive a wink in return.

Siani noticed the direction of his gaze and grinned. "Oh yes, absolutely gorgeous and so damn sexy!"

"Just wait, he gets even better" he said glancing up. "I guess we should work now."

He noticed Gwen quickly look away frowning. He sighed, tired of the drama.

"Yes sir!" She said cheekily, before kissing him again quickly then moving over to the table next to Owen and looking over the blueprints of the warehouse.

"Alright, so we're all familiar with the layout of this place now. Presumably they'll be doing the slaughtering in the main area of the building." Jack said, pointing to the room on the blueprints.

"I count three entry points," Siani said, receiving nods in confirmation. "So how do you want to do this Jack, simultaneous bombardment?"

Owen laughed, "I love the way you think!" The others, save Gwen of course, chuckled.

Jack smiled at his wife, loving that a few of the shadows in her eyes seemed to be chased away by her excitement at getting back into the thick of it.

"Not this time. We're going to do this quietly. Tosh, are you okay to stay back and coordinate?"

"Of course Jack, that's no problem." She said. "You should take the heat signature monitor so that I can track you all. Just wear the sensors so I can pick you all out from the rest."

"Great. Can you get those together for us?" Jack asked her.

Tosh nodded and left the room to retrieve the sensors.

"Siani, what do you think?" Jack asked and they all looked up at her.

Looking intently at the floor plan she replied. "Since you're going for stealth we should split into two teams. One will arrive in advance as forward observers; this team should enter through the side entrance here. Considering that we think the main activity and therefore the most people will be here, we want to avoid this entrance. So the second team should come through the front entrance. We should be able to subdue any personnel in the offices before moving into the main area."

Jack nodded his head, clearly pleased with the plan.

"Ianto, how should we split up?" He asked, looking over to the Welshman who stood with a hand to his chin.

"Well that depends. Doctor, I know how you feel about guns, but you be willing to use a stun gun if necessary?"

The Doctor frowned, "Will that really be necessary?"

"Yes." Ianto, Jack and Siani all replied together.

"Doctor, we really have no idea what we're walking into here. This is not a situation that you can talk your way out of; you are a liability to us if you cannot do what is necessary." Siani told him.

"Alright, but I don't have to like it." He said sulkily.

Siani grinned at him, bumping him with her hip to get a smile out of the Time Lord.

"Good," Ianto said. "It's more for our protection than anything. The advance team should all be kitted out, regular and stun guns. So I think that Owen, Siani and I should make up the advance team, then Jack, the Doctor, and Gwen will be second. You'll be the only one fully armed though Jack."

"Of course he won't Ianto, don't be ridiculous." Gwen said.

Siani started to reply, but was cut-off by Jack.

"Yes I will be Gwen, and watch your tone. You did not clear your firearms assessment yesterday, so you aren't authorized to carry a weapon." Gwen frowned unhappily at Jack and crossed her arms.

Jack ignored her and continued, "Ianto, I agree with you. We will give your team 2 minutes of lead time before we enter the building. Our intent is to subdue and secure only."

Jack paused, looking each one of them in the eyes before saying, "That being said, do what you have to do to protect yourselves and each other."

They all nodded, albeit the Doctor rather hesitantly. He didn't like violence in any form, he had seen far too much of it in over 900 years of life. But he wasn't a fool either; he knew that Jack had to do what was necessary to protect his team.

Tosh reentered the conference room with the sensors, handing them out to each person.

"I've programmed them for you individually, so I should know exactly where you are at all times."

"My guardian angel!" Jack said, hugging her from the side.

Tosh shook her head as she and Siani grinned at one another.

"We'll need to take two vehicles. We'll take the SUV and-"

"But I drive the SUV." Jack said with a pout.

Ianto rolled his eyes.

"You can drive whatever other vehicle you take. We need the SUV with us; it has Owen's kit and the rest of the gear in it."

Throwing up his hands Jack said, "Fine! Fine! I give you a little bit of power and it goes straight to your head!"

He winked at Ianto who grinned and shook his head. The others smiled at his antics as they started down the stairs to prepare to leave.

"Oh Jack, I don't see his head swelling up like that so soon." Siani said slyly.

Ianto and Jack stifled a laugh.

"Normally I would agree," Ianto replied. "I'm very relaxed right now, but you might be surprised how quickly that could change. Give it some time, sir."

All three were fighting laughter at this point, receiving confused looks from the others periodically. The Doctor was standing with them and glanced between them all trying to follow the conversation; there was clearly more going on here.

Jack growled softly and then said, "You might be onto something there Yan."

Sharing a heated glance between them, the three quickly and silently turned and went about gathering their things, leaving the Doctor standing there.

After a moment he said, "Oh. Ohhhhhhh!"

"Leave it Doc." Jack said with a laugh.

Soon they were all ready to leave. Ianto's team left topside to retrieve the SUV from the garage that way, while Jack's team went through the lower levels to Gwen's car.

Rhys was parked in the same place as last night. He had followed Gwen again that morning, having phoned Ruth to tell her that he was taking care of things to do with the crash today.

A little over an hour after Gwen disappeared, three people emerged from that Tourist Office by the docks and got into the monstrous Torchwood SUV, one of them looked an awful lot like Ianto Jones from the estate. Surely he couldn't be wrapped up in all of this madness!

About five minutes later, Rhys saw Gwen's car come out of the park, driven by that ridiculously good-looking bloke in the RAF coat. It looked like she was also in the car with him and the other man from the night before.

He started up his car and followed a safe distance behind them, pretty sure that he knew where they were heading anyway.

Just as he thought, they turned off toward the same warehouse, so he decided to follow. He was going to get some answers.

They were almost to the warehouse, so Jack radioed Ianto's team to confirm that they were in position. Ianto confirmed that they were on sight and moving into position; he then instructed Jack where to park out of sight. They pulled off the road on the second inroad, and Jack quickly maneuvered the car out of sight.

Rhys saw them pull off and thought that he would take the first inroad in order to watch them from a distance. What he didn't count on was that particular road leading him straight up to the guarded gate of the warehouse.

"Fwyc!" Rhys exclaimed as the guard approached his car.

He was talking into a walkie talkie, obviously alerting someone to his presence.

Rhys knew that he had screwed up, but he figured that the best way to handle the situation was to act as though he knew exactly what he was doing. He only hoped it worked and that these people weren't in on something worse than selling some dodgy meat.

Owen, Siani, and Ianto by this time, had circled the parameter of the building, checking to make sure that the situation had not changed from last night. They counted two guards on the exterior of the building; one was guarding the gate and wasn't paying much attention to his surroundings, the other was basically strolling around the building.

"I've got this one." Siani said.

Ianto grasped her arm, holding her back.

"Are you sure you're ready for this?" He asked, worried about how weak she had been only a few days prior.

Siani huffed and pulled her arm gently from his grasp.

"Yes, I'm fine, don't worry I've got this." She said, slinking silently to the corner of the warehouse.

Owen stood back, making sure to keep a lookout during this. Ianto watched her worriedly, continuously telling himself to calm down and to not jump in and stop her. He and Owen remained on the side of the building while Siani waited at the corner for the guard walking the back of the building to come closer.

The unsuspecting man continued to walk towards the corner of the warehouse, already bored out of his mind after only being there for three hours. He was smoking a cigarette and thinking about getting tickets for the next rugby match coming up when he felt someone grab him from behind.

Before he could react, he had been knocked to his knees, and someone put their arm across his throat; he felt the pressure on his throat increase as his assailant's arm contracted. He struggled, trying to break the hold, but the lack of air quickly weakened him, and he soon saw the world go black.

Hopping up Siani dusted herself off while Ianto immediately appeared from around the corner; she saw him exhale, as though he had been holding his breath. Siani grinned at him and he responded with a smirk, watching as she secured the guards hands and arms behind his back with zip ties.

Silently they moved back to join Owen and proceed to the side entry.

"We're approaching the building on the east side; we'll be in position in 30 seconds." They heard Jack report over the comms.

"Copy that." Ianto said. "We counted two exterior guards, one has been neutralized, and the other is at the front gate. You should be clear, the front entry is unsecured."

Jack, Gwen, and the Doctor moved along the side of the building opposite of the other team, making their way toward the front of the building. Jack glanced around the corner and seeing that is was clear, he prepared to order the first team to advance.

"Alright, remember, stun guns only unless they are armed. Tosh, how do things look on your end?"

"It's difficult to tell, I can only isolate a few individual heat signatures within the building. Everything else is distorted by the massive reading coming from the main room of the warehouse, so I can't give you an exact count the number of people inside. I count at least five, probably more."

"Alright, that's not ideal, but we knew we were going in blind to start with. Let's-"

"Jack." Tosh interrupted.

"Go ahead Tosh."

"There's a vehicle pulling up to the gate, I can't make out what it is."

"Ianto, do you have a visual on the gate?" Jack asked.

"Negative, give us a mo."

Ianto made his way over to the front corner of the building and spied around the corner toward the gate, leaving his comm open. He watched closely as the guard had the man in the car step out and put his hands behind his head before walking him through the gates. Ianto groaned inwardly when he realized who the man was. This whole operation had just gone to shit.

"You're not going to like this Jack." Ianto said.

"What is it?"

Ianto sighed and turned back to Owen and Siani who were watching him intently.

"It's Rhys."

"Shit." Jack said.

"Rhys? My Rhys?" Gwen said with a hint of panic in her voice.

Rhys was not supposed to have anything to do with this part of her life; it unsettled her greatly that the two were overlapping.

"What's happening Ianto?" Jack asked, ignoring Gwen for the moment.

He glanced quickly at the Doctor, indicating that he should keep an eye on Gwen.

"They're leading him inside; it appears that they weren't expecting him from the looks of things. What do you want to do Jack, do we pull back?"

"Rhys is in there!" Gwen said, entirely too loudly considering the situation. "We have to get him out!"

Gwen turned and started to rush around the corner of the building. Jack and the Doctor grabbed her before she could expose their position thankfully, as one of the men that had come out front happened to be looking in that direction at that moment.

They pushed Gwen by the shoulders up against the warehouse.

"Calm down Gwen, right now!" Jack ground out harshly.

"I just have to get him out!"

"What? By charging in there? What then? You going to knock him out?"

"Miss Cooper, it would be in all of our best interests, including Rhys' if you would lower your voice." The Doctor said none too gently.

She finally calmed down enough and stopped struggling.

"We've got to go in there and rescue him Jack!" She pleaded, pulling on his arm.

Jack stepped back from her, extracting himself from her grasp.

"Our objective here has not changed Gwen, this merely complicates it. Our priorities are still to subdue the culprits and stop this operation. For all I know Rhys is involved in this."

"He would never!" She said vehemently.

Jack ignored her and looked to the side, taking a moment to think through how this changed their plans.

"Ianto, I want you all to move in as planned, but I need Siani to do something a little different."

"Go ahead Jack." He heard Siani reply.

"I need you to be Hawkeye, do you know the route?"

"Yeah, I memorized it."

Owen and Ianto were giving her confused glances, similar to the ones Jack was receiving from Gwen and the Doctor.

"Hawkeye?" Owen whispered.

Ianto shrugged, he was just as lost as Owen on that one.

"Good, get in as soon as you can. Find out where they are taking Rhys and what his involvement is in all of this, if there is any."

"Copy." She said, moving into position next to the door.

"Ianto, Owen, I want you to proceed as we planned, Siani will meet up with us as soon as she can. Tell me once you're in, we'll follow as planned after 2."

"Copy Jack." Ianto said, he looked at Siani and Owen.

"Did you bring the alarm deactivator?" He asked Owen.

Owen didn't answer; instead he simply took out his gun with a silencer on it and shot the lock off.

"Well, that's one way of doing it." Ianto said dryly.

Siani smirked and followed Owen as he entered the warehouse. They moved in silently, thankfully the immediate area was deserted.

"We're in." Ianto whispered into the comm.

"Copy that." Jack said.

Siani stopped after a couple of yards, tapping Owen's shoulder to halt his advance. She gestured to both of them and pointed up at a grate in the ventilation duct, indicated that she needed a boost.

Owen looked between her and the duct a couple of times before grinning and nodding; now he understood the reference. Ianto raised a brow, praying that they would be bonded and the benefits of immortality would kick in before his mates turned his hair grey, or worse, made it all fall out.

Ianto gestured to Owen to keep a lookout while he crouched down and helped Siani reach the grate. Thankfully it had a hinge and was easily opened; she effortlessly flipped up into the duct in a move that would make an Olympic gymnast proud. She hung her head back out of the opening to give them a smile and blew a kiss to Ianto before pulling the grate closed and beginning to crawl toward the office.

Owen waved Ianto forward, and they proceeded down the hallway. Ianto glanced up briefly at the air duct before they turned the corner. He had to focus, Siani could take care of herself, he hoped.

Siani quietly crawled through the ducts, following the route that she knew would lead her to the office. She made it in less than two minutes, having been delayed momentary by some mice camping out along the way.

Ugh, I hate mice!

So that's a no to hamsters for the kids then? Jack joked through their bond.

You think you are so funny don't you? You so owe me for this!

I am more than willing to serve you in any way you see fit!

Siani rolled her eyes; she could feel him leering through their link.

I made it.

"We're going in." She heard Jack say quietly over the comm.

She inched her way closer to the grate in the office, carefully keeping her weight evenly distributed in order to keep quiet.

Peering down into the room she saw four men, two of them were questioning Rhys, the other, in a yellow vest was standing near the door brandishing a meat cleaver.

"Who sent you?" Asked the man seated casually on a desk. Siani decided to call him Fuzzy, it was the eyebrows.

"Come on, now, don't waste our time." The fidgety one asked; Siani decided to call him Napoleon, he seemed to have a definite case of "little man syndrome."

"No one sent me." Rhys said. "I, um - I came on my own. I'm looking for the boss."

Siani had to give it to him; he was keeping it together well. She could tell he was nervous, and from his body language he was clearly lying, but so far the men hadn't picked up on it.

"You're looking at him." Napoleon said as he circled Rhys, obviously trying to appear intimidating.

"Ignore my little brother." Fuzzy said.

Great, it's a family affair. Siani thought.

Rhys continued, "I'm, uh -"

He dug into his jacket pocket and took out a business card, handing it to Napoleon.

"I'm from, um, I'm from Harwood's. Harwood's Haulage. Uh, Leighton - Leighton, your driver - He, um, well, he, uh, he sort of told me what was going on."

"That mouthy git - He was paid to keep quiet." Napoleon said to his brother.

"Shh!" Fuzzy said, as he motioned for his brother to be quiet.

"Yeah, well, he's dead." Rhys said; Fuzzy and Napoleon were clearly not aware of this information. "Lorry crashed."

Napoleon asked worriedly, "Were the goods inside?"

"What happened to the meat? Did anyone see it?"

"No, no, um - I, uh - I picked it all up and, uh, took it all to be incinerated."

Good recovery Rhys. Siani thought.

The more she listened the more she agreed with Ianto's assessment; they might have a place for Rhys Williams once this was all over with.

Napoleon walked over and handed Rhys' business card to Fuzzy before turning to face the window.

"You see, um - I was hoping maybe I could, uh, pick up from where he left off, boys?"

Careful Rhys, don't push.

Napoleon turned and looked at Rhys.

"How do we know you won't report us?"

"I'm here, aren't I?" Rhys replied.

Napoleon scoffed and Fuzzy stood, stepping toward Rhys as he addressed him.

"So what, exactly, did he tell you?"

Rhys glanced around.

Keep it together Rhys, you've almost got them.

"Uh - everything. You know, that you're, uh - cleaning up old meat."

Napoleon replied, "Oh, it's a lot bigger than that."

"Let's go." Fuzzy said, gesturing for Rhys to follow and leading them toward the door.

"Where are we going?" Rhys asked.

"You want to take over from Leighton - you need to see what we're working with." Napoleon said, shoving him slightly toward the door.

As soon as they left the room Siani was on the move, opening her comm link.

"They're on the move, most likely toward the main room. We've got one, and probably more with cleavers. I can't be sure if the others are armed or not."

"Copy." Jack said, "You better get down here, we're going to need you."

"On my way."

While Siani had been crawling her way toward the office, Ianto and Owen made their way through the building.

They reached a room set up as a makeshift meat locker. The smell was rancid and overpowering.

"Mmm." Ianto said sarcastically.

They split up; Ianto worked his way toward the other side of the building while Owen went toward the rooms closer to the main warehouse.

Jack, the Doctor, and Gwen moved unseen to the main room of the warehouse, sneaking into the dimly lit area.

They all stopped and stared at the massive creature that took up the majority of the room. The creature moaned, shocking them out of their stupor.

"Oh God," Jack said, horrified. "It's still alive."

The Doctor just stood, staring at the poor beast sorrowfully.

"How did it get here?" Gwen asked.

"It must have fallen through the Rift." The Doctor said.

"Imprisoned, chained, and drugged. Welcome to planet earth." Jack said darkly.

He and the Doctor shared a look, both remembering a time not long ago when it had been Jack in a disturbingly similar position.

"It's amazing." Gwen said, looking at the creature with awe.

"Shh shh shh shh shh!" Jack said, hearing a noise to their left.

Jack advanced forward, ducking in between crates and motioned for the others to follow. They weaved their way in and out, careful to remain unseen. Jack drew closer to the side of the creature where floodlights were focused, and a dull squishing thud could periodically be heard.

He watched as a worker hacked away at the exposed side of the creature, cutting away a large chunk of meat and loading it into a wheelbarrow. Jacks motions to Gwen and the Doctor to hide, just in time to avoid being seen by the yellow vested worker, before he stepped behind the man tasing him in the back.

The man hit the floor hard, falling to the side, and the Doctor moved forward to help Jack pull him behind the crates where Gwen waited with zip ties to secure him. They checked to see if anyone else was around before making their way toward the hole in the creature's side.

"Oh, that's disgusting." Gwen said. The smell was overpowering and she gagged, trying to keep from vomiting on the spot.

Jack looked on in horror, stepping up to the area cut into the creature.

"Owen." Jack said over the comms. "The creature is still alive. See if you can find something to help it."

"I'll do what I can Jack." He replied.

"What have they done to you?" He said brokenly to the creature as he gently put a hand on the exposed flesh. "What have they done to you, my poor friend?"

The creature wailed and shifted, trying to break free, but it was kept securely bound by its chains.

Owen made his way into the packing room, he heard and sound and quickly pulled the door partially closed to hide. A man walked past him and Owen stepped out, slamming him against the shelves before zapping him with the stun gun and securing him. He pulled out a gun from the back of the man's pants.

Into the comms he said, "Everyone, they're armed."

Gwen looked at Jack with a panicked expression, "Rhys!"

"Gwen. Stay here." He said firmly.

Jack felt a rush of panic at that moment though, knowing that he was separated from both of his mates, one of whom was still very much mortal.

Ianto was making his way through a corridor when a worker stepped through a door to his right. He was obviously surprised by Ianto's presence, as Ianto was surprised by his. They thought the particular door was blocked off. Ianto waved.

"Hello! I, uh - have a thing here somewhere." Ianto said as he reached into his jacket and pulled out his stun gun.

"Hell of a day." He said cheerfully as he zapped the man who subsequently fell into his arms.

He pulled the man up and began to drag him away.

Fuzzy, Napoleon, and the worker with the cleaver led Rhys into the main room of the warehouse.

Right in front of him was the largest creature he had ever seen, and it was definitely not something he had ever learned about in school. The creature writhed and wailed, a low keening sound that shot straight through him.

Fuzzy and the others stared dispassionately at the creature as it continued to cry out in agony.

"What's that noise?" It was unlike anything he had ever heard.

They watched as Rhys stepped closer to the creature. It opened its eye and looked right at Rhys, and he felt the creature's pain and sorrow at that moment. The creature continued to wail, and it struggled against its bonds, causing Rhys to take a step back.

"God!" Rhys exclaimed. "What is it, boys?"

"No idea." Fuzzy responded as the creature continued to moan. "The beauty of it is, it just keeps growing."

"No matter how much we cut it." Napoleon added greedily.

Rhys turned and saw the creature's flesh on the warehouse floor, and a worker, covered in its blood kicking scraps of meat with his boot as the creature cried. Rhys gagged, turning quickly to be sick on the floor.

Napoleon chuckled at him saying, "You get used to it."

Rhys just stared, disgusted by the brutality.

All the while, Gwen, Jack, and the Doctor watched on, hidden behind the crates. Jack stood between Gwen and the opening between the crates while the Doctor held a hand over her mouth to keep her quiet. She struggled, but was unable to break the Doctor's hold.

Unknown to Ianto, a worker saw him through a window in a door pulling the unconscious worker away.

He radioed Napoleon, "Dale, we've got trouble. There's people in the building."

He walked away from the door, heading for the main warehouse.

Ianto meanwhile, dropped the man at the base of a stairwell and dusted off his hands before continuing on.

Back in the warehouse, the men looked at each other and then at Rhys.

Napoleon, or Dale as he was apparently called, gestured for Fuzzy and the other man to go check the hallway before he turned to Rhys.

He smashed the gun against Rhys' face busting his lip.

"You want to mess with me?" He yelled as Rhys cried out.

Gwen renewed her struggle, trying desperately to break free. Jack turned to her and grabbed her face in his hand.

"Listen to me! If you go rushing out there now you'll get him killed. Is that what you want?" He asked rhetorically. "Be quiet and wait for my signal. Do you understand?"

She stopped struggling and nodded her head. Finally after a few moments Jack nodded for the Doctor to release her.

Owen finally made it to the sedatives room and began examined the chemicals stored there. He quickly grabbed a large container and began to mix up something that he hoped would help the captive creature.

At that same time Siani was backtracking through the ducts, frustrated at the delay. The most direct route had been blocked off by some shoddy repair work. Unfortunately there was no way for her to quickly and quietly remove the blockage, so she had to make her way back to the hallway where she first entered the ducts before she could continue on to where the others were.

It was because of this delay that she was too late to see the two men attack Ianto in the hallway. He fought them both off initially before another came from behind him and hit him upside the head with his gun.

They pulled him to his feet and drug him toward the warehouse. Siani appeared in the duct above just in time to see them pulling a bleeding Ianto around the corner.

Oh hell no! She thought furiously.

She silently released the hinge on the vent after surveying the hallway, and then dropped soundlessly to the floor in a crouch. Pulling her gun from its thigh holster, she made her way along the wall, trailing after the men who had taken Ianto.

Jack was about to move in on the man holding Rhys when he heard the others returning. He crouched down behind a crate closer to them, leaving the Doctor and Gwen at the crate behind.

"Eh eh eh eh! You looking for someone?" Dale yelled, stepping toward Ianto as the others brought him into the room. He looked wildly between Rhys and Ianto. "How many more of you?"

Jack felt his heart plummet as he saw the men lead Ianto into the room.

Ianto kept his cool though, surreptitiously nodding to Rhys, who responded in kind.

"Just us."

Siani slinked silently into the room, taking cover behind some crates that were positioned behind Ianto, Rhys, and the men holding them.

"You thought the two of you could take us out? Nah. You're not that stupid." Dale said.

He searched Ianto and found both guns.

Glaring at them both he turned to one of the other men. "Dave, get some ropes, tie their hands."

Dave left the room, presumably to go after the rope, causing Siani to pull back further into the shadows to avoid being seen.

"I want every door locked, inside and out." Dale yelled.

Ianto had inconspicuously opened his comm link during the earlier altercation, allowing Owen and the others to hear everything.

Owen was still in the sedatives room, cursing as he heard what was happening with Rhys and Ianto. He ducked quickly out of sight as Dave ran past.

"Nobody leaves the building till this is sorted." Dale said, grabbing Ianto and pushing him to stand next to Rhys. "Move it!"

Fuzzy held his gun trained on Ianto, watching his brother.

Ianto looked up at the creature and asked, "What is it?"

Dale held his gun to the back of Rhys' neck.

"The lads call it the cash cow." He replied.

Another one of the men ran in the room looking shocked at the sight of Dale and his brother holding the two men at gunpoint.

"Dale, what are you doing?" He cried.

"Couldn't bear to see us making money, Vic. Fancy some for yourselves, huh? Thought we'd be a pushover."

Gwen had moved in between the crates and positioned herself in front of Jack's crate before the Doctor could stop her. She looked back at Jack, pointing to herself and mouthing that she's going to step out. Jack shakes his head and mouths back, "No."

Rhys said to Dale, "Mate, you're so out of your depth."

"Funny, I was just thinking the same about you." He replied.

"Dale! Don't be an idiot." The man named Vic pleaded.

Dale shouted as he shoved Rhys forward, "Show yourselves or I shoot the delivery boy!"

Not even pausing to think, Gwen steps out from behind the crate before either Jack or the Doctor can stop her.

"Okay!" She shouted, advancing with her hands in the air.

Rhys frowned at the stupidity of her actions, and Jack cursed himself silently for not sedating her and leaving her in a cell back at the Hub.

"There's no need to make any threats." She said.

Ianto looked at her in disbelief.

"Just the two of you, is it?" Dale said to Ianto. "Gun down, kick it over here."

Gwen continued to walk forward; at the same time Siani was working her way closer to Fuzzy, who had his gun pointed at Ianto.

"I don't have a gun." She lied.

"He had one, so you must have!" Dale yelled and gestured toward Ianto.

She pulled her gun out from her back and held it up.

"Okay! Okay. Okay." She said, placing it on the ground.

"Any more of you?" Dale asked. "And before you answer, have a proper think. Cause if you lie . . . " He paused, pointing his gun at Gwen. "I will shoot you."

Please do and save me the trouble. Siani thought as she stepped to the side of the crate closest to Fuzzy, remaining shadowed. She knew that Jack and the Doctor could see her; she only hoped that Cooper didn't notice and give away her position.

Ianto and Rhys both looked at Gwen, and Rhys shook his head at her.

"It's just me." She lied again.

"Get against the drum." Dale ordered her.

She ignored him and continued to walk toward him.

"We can help you, Dale." She said in a voice that she apparently thought was soothing.

"Yeah. Help yourselves, more like." He said as he pushed Rhys toward Gwen. "Come on. Stand next to her. You too!" He said gesturing to Ianto.

Ianto walked slowly toward Rhys and Gwen.

One of the men up on a catwalk yelled down, "Dale, two more!"

Jack cringed, trying desperately to think of the best way out of this mess.

Gwen grabbed Rhys and pushed him behind her, leaving Ianto exposed.

Dale grabbed Ianto and pulled him back, pointing his gun at Ianto's neck.

Dale yelled at Jack and the Doctor, "Kick out your weapons! Stand where I can see you!"

Jack is thoroughly pissed, but having no choice he steps out holding up his gun and hands with the Doctor following closely behind

"Drop your weapons." Dale said.

Jack tossed his gun aside, and the Doctor placed his on the ground, sliding it toward them.

Together, Jack and the Doctor stepped toward the men, Jack addressed Dale.

"You know what you've got here, Dale?"

"Shut up, now!"

"It's an alien," the Doctor said. "A creature from another galaxy. It came through a rift in time and space, and it was unlucky enough to find you."

"No, no way." Vic began to panic.

"Do you really think it originated on this planet? You ever seen anything like it before?" The Doctor continued, reining in his anger for the moment.

"It can't be." Vic said. "Can it?"

"Look at it." Jack said.

The creature cried out, opening its eye and looking at the men.

"Look at it."

The men become increasingly agitated as the creature looks at them.

"Oh, shit!" Vic cried.

"It's just meat, that's all." Dale said.

While everyone is distracted, Siani watched as Ianto worked on the ropes securing his wrists.

"You're carving up a sentient creature! And you've got to stop." Jack said.

He had to get Dale away from Ianto.

"And then what have I got? I'm making money. This is my business. For the first time in my life, I've actually got something for myself."

"Dale, stop. You can still walk away from this." Gwen tried to reason with him.

Siani stepped forward as she saw Ianto was almost free of the ropes. While the others were distracted, she knocked out the worker that had previously been holding the cleaver and was pointing his gun all around the room, then pulled him back into the shadows where she secured him.

Dale stopped, seeming to consider her words for a moment.

"No." He said

The creature cried out.

"You lied to me." He said to Gwen.

He raised his gun again and pointed it at her.

Rhys stepped in front of Gwen and shouted, "No!"

Dale fired and hit Rhys, causing him to cry out and fall back into Gwen.

Siani jumped forward, tackling Vic to the ground as he attempted to escape. She pistol whipped him across the face, knocking him unconscious, and watched Ianto grab Dale's wrist, fighting him for the gun.

"No!" Jack cried out.

As they struggled for the gun it went off several times, hitting the creature and the chains securing its head to the ground.

Ianto and Dale continued to struggle for the gun as another shot was heard.

Siani advanced toward the two only to be struck from behind by the not so unconscious Vic. He fell on top of her, planting his weight on her torso and placing his hands around her neck.

Jack grabbed his gun and took aim at Dale, but he couldn't get a clear shot as he was on the other side of Ianto. He watched helplessly as Dale punched Ianto in the back several times.

Vic continued to struggle with Siani, trying to choke her; she was initially too dazed from the initial blow to really fight back, but soon she came around and began to struggle making it difficult for him to maintain his hold.

Ianto knocked Dale to the ground as the creature rolled side to side, knocking over barrels and crates, cutting them off from Jack and the others.

The wires attached to the wall began to fray and come loose as the creature thrashed more violently sensing that it was close to what it thought would be freedom. The Doctor pulled out his Sonic Screwdriver and pointed it toward the wire, trying to stabilize it.

Ianto straddled Dale, punching him in the face.

Another wire came loose and Jack grabbed the Doctor, pulling him out of the way just as the wire snapped back toward him.

Siani continued to grapple with Vic, her head wound which was bleeding profusely inhibited her greatly. She tried to bring her legs up to grab him but was unable to gain enough leverage to do so.

Ianto was distracted momentarily by the sight of Siani in distress and Dale took the opportunity to punch him, knocking him off of him.

Dale grabbed his gun, jumping up and pointing it at Ianto.

"Die!"

Siani panicked, thrashing wildly against Vic. Jack could clearly hear her screaming Ianto's name through their bond.

Dale fired directly at him.

"Shit!" Dale said. The clip was empty.

He backed away and ran off leaving Ianto lying on the ground. Ianto groaned and slowly picked himself up, moving toward the man that was very close to killing his mate.

He landed a roundhouse kick to the side of Vic's head, slamming him against the crate behind them and knocking him out.

"Ianto! Siani!" Jack cried out.

Siani coughed, gasping to pull air into her lungs as Ianto fell beside her, gathering her into his arms.

"I'm sorry, I tried to get away sooner, I'm so sorry. I love you." Ianto said to Siani, raining kisses across her face and on her bruised neck.

"Ianto, Siani, answer me!" Jack yelled, his heart racing.

"We're here Jack." Ianto called out to him.

"Are you okay?"

Ianto looked down at Siani, she nodded her head.

"We're in one piece." He said.

"Then go after them! I can't get past!"

Ianto looked at Siani before he said, "Are you sure you're alright. I can't leave you like this!"

"I'll be fine." She mouthed, unable to speak. Ianto frowned at this, "Go!"

He nodded reluctantly, but stood up and took off in the direction that Dale had fled.

Jack said into the comm, "Owen! Rhys has been shot! The creature's coming loose. We need that sedative, now!"

Gwen was cradling Rhys in her arms, not thinking to try to stop the bleeding from his gunshot wound.

"Open your eyes." She said, "Come on, you can do this. Open your eyes for me, now."

Owen scrambled around the sedatives room, trying to quickly finish the concoction he had assembled.

"Yeah, I'm on it. I'm on it." He responded.

"Owen, we need you! We're trapped. The creature's breaking free. If we try and get past, we'll be crushed." Jack yelled into the comms.

Another wire snapped loose and the creature bucked toward them, pushing them further back into the crates. The Doctor dove between some barrels, barely avoiding being crushed.

Vic stumbled into the sedatives room, almost bumping into Owen.

"Whoa!" Vic exclaimed.

Owen turned, grabbing Vic, and slamming him against the door.

"It wasn't me!" Vic cried. "I never wanted to be a part of this. Sedative won't work now. If it's got loose, you're never going to stop it."

Ianto reached into the room and pressed the Taser against the back of Vic's neck, firing and watching him fall to the ground.

He then stepped into the room panting, and said to Owen. "We gotta help them. It's out of control."

Owen grabbed a different container of chemicals and the massive syringe before heading out the door.

While Owen left to join the others Ianto continued down the hall toward the office, figuring that Dale would most likely head in that direction.

Inside the office, Dale was emptying the safe, dumping all the cash inside into a duffle bag.

His brother was with him. "You went and shot him, bruv!"

Dale ignored him and zipped up the bag.

"Come on!" Fuzzy insisted.

Dale slid the duffle bag over to him.

"Fill the other one!" Fuzzy said in a rush.

Dale turned and began to stuff another duffle bag with cash while Fuzzy picked up the full bag and started toward the door.

"I'm going as fast as I can." Dale said.

Fuzzy was just about to open the door when it slammed inward. Ianto had kicked it in, knocking the man into the wall. He dropped the bag and stumbled backward as Ianto walked into the office, taking him down with the Taser.

Dale scrambled for his gun on the desk, but Ianto was faster, kicking it out of Dale's hand and knocking him to the floor.

Ianto towered over him.

"Pray they survive." He ground out before pressing the Taser to Dale's forehead and firing, not caring in the least that it could potentially kill the man.

Dale's eyes rolled to the back of his head and he fell back, unconscious. Ianto turned without looking back to return to his mates.

Meanwhile, Owen had made his way into the warehouse, but he pulled up short at the sight of the massive writhing creature.

"Bloody hell!" He exclaimed.

He saw that Jack, the Doctor, Rhys, and Gwen were trapped and in danger of being inadvertently crushed by the suffering creature. Owen didn't notice Siani however, as she had tucked herself back closer to the crates, where she sat silently, cursing her slowed regenerative powers.

Owen quickly stuck the syringe into the container, drawing the liquid into the chamber before cautiously approaching the creature and injecting it.

"I'm sorry." He said to the creature.

It cried out and reared up, struggling more violently.

"Owen, you're making it worse!" Jack yelled.

Owen refilled the syringe and injected it into the creature again.

The creature growled and then began to calm, Jack cautiously made his way from behind the crates with the Doctor, stopping to check on Rhys.

Gwen was trying to keep Rhys from passing out, and Jack looked over toward Owen, where he stood watching the creature sadly.

"Looks like its working." Owen said, listening as the creature wailed pitifully.

"Yeah, it's working." He said regretfully.

"What did you do?" The Doctor said.

"Mercy killing." Owen replied, kicking the air in frustration.

Jack looked at the creature sorrowfully, deeply regretting that they were unable to save it from this fate. He walked toward it, his heart heavy with memories and pain. He could feel the creature's pain battering against his mental shields.

"Rhys, Rhys, Rhys, listen to me. Rhys." Gwen said off to the side.

She continued to cradle Rhys and talk to him as Jack reached the dying creature and laid his hand on it gently. The Doctor watched on with a heavy heart, truly seeing for the first time that life on the slow path was not at all as he had imagined it to be.

"That's it. You're with me, okay?" Gwen continued to talk to Rhys. "I've got you tight. Keep your eyes nice and open."

Jack closed his eyes in grief as the creature's cries grew weaker.

"Oh." Jack said.

Knowing that he could not help the poor creature, Owen moved over to help Rhys.

"Gwen, let me look at him."

Owen took gauze out of his pack and applied pressure to Rhys' wound; he had lost a good deal of blood, more than he should have if he had been looked after properly from the start. Owen internally cursed Gwen's idiocy.

"Okay, soft, soft, soft. Be careful. I'm going to rip this. You want to keep the pressure on, okay?" Owen said as he ripped Rhys' shirt. "Okay."

The Doctor turned and looked at Jack from his place beside him, seeing how deeply the suffering of this poor creature was affecting his friend.

They both looked on as the creature's cries grew quieter.

Owen stood after taping up Rhys and looked at the creature; he stepped toward it as if to touch it, but stopped short bowing his head and closing his eyes.

"I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry." He whispered.

The Doctor heard him and walked over to Owen, placing a hand on his shoulder. Owen clasped his hand with his and held on tightly.

At that moment, all of the doubts the Doctor still harbored about Torchwood left him. This was the new Torchwood, Jack's Torchwood. These weren't the xenophobic opportunists led by Yvonne Hartman, no, these people cared.

Jack had his palm laid flat against the head of the creature, with the Doctor and Owen standing nearby. The creature stopped crying and the room grew quiet as its eye closed and it breathed its last.

After a moment, Jack stepped back and turned to take in the warehouse. That's when he noticed Siani slumped against some crates. He felt his heart seize up and he let out a strangled sound, drawing the attention of the others in the room.

"Owen!" He yelled as he ran to Siani's side, dropping down beside her. Just then Ianto came back in clutching his side as he hurried over to them, kneeling down next to Jack.

Owen rushed over with his kit and began to examine her. With Jack's help he gently laid her on the ground. He noted the bruising and ligature marks on her neck and the way she was cradling her left arm. She had also sustained a head injury, but it had stopped bleeding by this point.

He checked her skull for any fractures, not finding any he then used his pen light to check her eyes for any signs of a concussion. She did appear to have a slight one. He moved on, she seemed to have some soft tissue damage in her arm, no broken bones.

"Slight concussion, at least a sprained wrist, could be more."

Reaching up he gently palpated her neck checking for damage. She flinched slightly, causing Jack and Ianto to tense.

"How's your throat?" Owen asked.

"Not great." She mouthed, still unable to speak.

Owen frowned, "I'll need to check you more thoroughly once we get back to the Hub."

Ianto swayed slightly, catching Jack's attention, who reached over to steady him.

"Yan? You're hurt!" He exclaimed, noticing how Ianto was holding his side.

Gwen and Rhys watched from across the room; Rhys in concern for his boyhood friend and the other woman, and Gwen in jealousy that Jack was so concerned over Siani and Ianto.

"I'll be fine." Ianto waved Jack off, focusing on Siani who frowned up at him.

Gwen watched them through narrowed eyes, and Rhys looked up at her catching her stare. There was something about it that greatly bothered him, she looked so cold and hateful in that moment; and then he noticed how she seemed fixated on the bloke called Jack. He wasn't sure what was going on, but he had a really bad feeling about it.

"Last time I checked, I was the medical doctor, so I'll decide whose fine and who's not." Owen said moving over to examine Ianto.

He checked his side and back, along with his head.

"Well, you don't appear to have a concussion; it's that thick Welsh skull if you ask me. You'll probably have a bitch of a headache though. Those ribs will need to be taped, there seems to only be bruises and possible hairline fractures, no displacement from what I can feel. Your back is another matter; you've got some major bruising back here." Owen said as he examined Ianto's lower back. "I'll need to check it with the Bekaran scanner once we get back."

Owen sat back against the crate after helping Siani to sit up between Jack and Ianto.

"You'll both live to give Jack grey hairs another day." Owen said.

Jack continued to look between his two mates with concern, anger and guilt warring within him. He stood and reached back down to help Siani stand. The Doctor walked over and helped Ianto to his feet, receiving a slight smile in thanks despite his pain.

Anger was quickly rising within Jack, anger at one person in particular. Well, really two, but he would continue to be angry with himself later. Gwen Cooper had been on thin ice before this operation, now she was at the top of his shit list.

Her foolish, impulsive actions had almost killed them, separated him from his mates, and resulted in Rhys getting shot, and Ianto and Siani being injured.

Few people, even in the 51st Century knew that one of the main reasons that the bonding and mating imperative had been so successfully integrated by humanoids, was that it tapped into their basic primitive urges. At that moment, Jack felt every bit that alpha male of his pack, ready to tear apart those that brought harm to his mates.

Only the fact that Siani was leaning against him heavily prevented him from marching over and breaking that woman's neck.

Calm down Shae. Siani sent to him. You can deal with that later; there are other things that need your attention first.

He looked down at his wife before taking a deep breath and nodding.

"Alright everyone. Owen, can you take Rhys, Siani, and Ianto back to the Hub and look after them? The rest of us will take care of the cleanup."

"Sure Jack." Owen said as he packed up his kit.

"No!" Gwen exclaimed. "I'm not leaving Rhys, and that's final! None of you understand what it's like, you all think that it's so cold and lonely out there, but it isn't for me, because I have him. He matters, and I need to be there to take care of him right now."

"Damnit Gwen!" Jack exploded. "Shut up!"

She foolishly started to interrupt.

"Not one damn word Gwen, I mean it or so help me you'll wake up tomorrow with no memory of how to tie your shoes." He spat at her, shocking her with the venom in his voice.

Rhys looked on with wide eyes. He didn't like Jack yelling at Gwen like that, but she had definitely been out of line with her comment. None of the others seemed to think that they should step in so he decided to remain quiet for the moment.

"You will remain here with the Doctor and I, you will assist us in cleaning up this place, and then you will return to the Hub and gather your things. You are suspended for one month without pay."

Gwen moved her mouth in shock, but wisely remained silent.

"Though I still need to find out from Rhys how he got pulled into all of this, it's very clear that this whole operation was a complete cock up because of you. Had you followed orders Rhys probably wouldn't have been shot, Ianto and Siani wouldn't be injured, and we might have had the chance to actually save this poor creature. I have had it with your constant disregard for the rules, and you endangering others because you think you know what is best. I will be deciding during your suspension whether or not you are still needed as a member of this team or not."

Jack glared at her, and watched as that infuriatingly stubborn glint appeared in her eye. He cut her off though before she could comment.

"Now move! Start gathering up the refuse and take it to the incinerator."

Jack stared her down as she glared at him defiantly, before turning and stomping away. In her anger she completely forgot about Rhys.

Jack breathed deeply, though it only served to make him nauseous due to the smell in the room. Siani and Ianto both nodded at him, giving him soft smiles before they turned to prepare to leave with Owen.

"Jack?" He heard Tosh call him through the comms. He realized that he had not heard from her since they entered the building.

"Everything alright Tosh?"

"Yeah, I lost communication with you for a while and then you all were a little busy. Is everyone alright."

"Not quite, Rhys is shot, and Ianto and Siani are injured. They're about to leave with Owen to head back to the Hub. Can you make sure that the med bay is ready for them?" Jack ran a hand over his face, he was exhausted.

"Absolutely. Do you need me to do anything else from this end?"

"No Tosh. We're going to clean up here and then head your way."

"Alright, let me know if you need anything, I'll leave the comms up for you."

"Thanks Tosh." Jack smiled slightly. He could always count on Tosh.

"Um, sorry." Rhys said a little weakly from the ground. "Would someone like to fill me in on what's going on?"

"Come on," Ianto addressed his old friend. "We'll explain it on the way back."

By this point Rhys was simply too weak from pain and blood loss to do much of anything other than nod. He groaned in pain as Owen helped him to his feet, and fought the wave of nausea that threatened to overpower him.

The four made their way slowly out of the warehouse and headed back to the Hub, Siani and Ianto supporting each other while Owen practically carried Rhys.

Jack sighed as they left and felt the Doctor move to stand beside him.

"You did the right thing Jack."

"Yeah, I know." He replied. "I just wish that it was all over and done with already. Is it so much to ask that we be allowed time to simply enjoy each other without all of this mess?" Jack said as he raked his hand through his hair in frustration.

They could hear Gwen in another part of the warehouse, slamming things around.

"You'll get that chance my friend." The Doctor said as he moved to stand in front of Jack, placing his hands on his shoulders. "Even if I have to engineer it myself."

The two men smiled before stepping apart. They looked over at the creature sadly, both wishing that they had been able to save it.

"Do you know what it is Doc?" Jack asked quietly.

"No, I wish I did. It looks to be related to the star whale, but I've never encountered this species before."

"Well, I guess there's no avoiding it then." Jack said tiredly.

The men set out to begin the grim task of clearing the sight, thankfully though depressingly, the Doctor's sonic screwdriver wasn't just a screwdriver. Four hours later they had completed clearing what would have otherwise taken days to clean up.

They Retconned the men involved before driving them and their cars to deserted areas nearby.

They planted large amounts of alcohol in the vehicles and on the men. Jack chose to arrange several of them in rather compromising positions. He may not be able to make them pay in the way he wanted to, but at least he could do something.

Afterwards they turned Gwen's car back toward Cardiff and began the silent ride back to the Hub.

Jack needed to see his mates, and then, he needed a drink.

Chapter Text

Chapter 16 - Cha- Cha- Changes

Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008, Torchwood

By the time Jack, Gwen, and the Doctor returned to the Hub it was past 8:00 p.m. and Jack was spent. He was exhausted mentally, physically, and emotionally. All he wanted to do was find his mates, gather them up, and take them home where he could make sure that they would be safe.

They parked Gwen's car in the parking garage and came in through that entrance, tiredly making their way to the main part of the Hub in silence.

Today had left him shaken, both of his mates were hurt, and he could have easily lost Ianto. So much had changed in just a few days, but Jack knew that the changes that he still needed to make were long overdue.

For more than a century he had defended this planet, trying to bury the pain from the loss of his mate, and waited for the day that the Doctor would return. Well, the Doctor had returned and so had his mate, now it was time for Jack to rearrange his priorities.

Though he had grown to love this place and its people, they could no longer be his primary concern. Siani and Ianto, they were the center of his existence, and he needed to make sure that they never doubted that for even a moment. He needed to come clean with them, explain the situation with Gwen, and beg their (mainly Ianto's) forgiveness so that they could truly begin their life together.

When they entered the room they found Owen down in the med bay talking to Rhys; Ianto and Siani were on the sofa with her head pillowed in his lap, and Tosh was sitting in her chair near them. She was one unhappy little dragon if the look she was giving Gwen was any indication.

Jack sighed, and choosing to start on those changes immediately, he ignored Gwen (and the death glares Tosh was giving her) and moved over to the couch. Ianto sat with his head leaning back against the sofa with his eyes closed, but as Jack crouched in front of them he opened them.

"How are you feeling?" Jack asked Ianto quietly, as Siani continued to sleep.

"Pretty sore and banged up, a little dizzy. I've got a killer headache, but I think I need to wait until I get home before I take the pain meds Owen gave me."

Gwen huffed impatiently.

Ignoring her Jack asked, "What did Owen say?"

Jack reached down and placed his hand over Ianto's which lay on Siani's stomach.

"Two cracked ribs and some deep tissue bruising on my back."

Jack frowned, "And Siani?"

"Severely sprained wrist," Ianto said as he indicated her left arm that was securely bandaged. "Concussion that we'll need to keep an eye on, as well as the bruising and swelling of her throat. Owen's not sure how long it will take for her throat to heal enough for her to speak."

The Doctor pulled a chair over and took a seat next to the couch while Jack asked after Siani and Ianto.

"Jack?" He interrupted, drawing the attention of both men. "We could take them both on board the TARDIS. She can't fix everything as you know, but she may be able to accelerate the healing process."

Once again Gwen huffed.

Jack looked to Ianto. "What do you think Yan?"

"I don't mind," He said. "We should check with Siani. Maybe wait a while though; she just fell asleep about fifteen minutes before you got here. She should sleep a little more before we wake her."

The Doctor nodded. "I imagine that the rest will do her more good than anything."

"Alright." Jack agreed.

"I need to che-"

"Jack!" Gwen interrupted.

Tosh had gone back to her station, but turned when Gwen spoke.

The three men near the sofa fell silent and Jack tensed.

He looked at first Ianto and then the Doctor, and gently squeezed Ianto's hand before releasing it.

"Excuse me for a moment." He said to them.

Jack stood up and turned to face Gwen who stood several feet away with her hands on her hips.

"Jack, you-" She started angrily.

"Gwen. Turn your stun-gun in to Tosh as well as your keys and access card."

Owen came up the stairs to join them.

"You'll have fifteen minutes to visit with Rhys before you leave."

"I'm not leav-"

Jack ignored the interruption.

"I'm assuming, Owen, that Rhys will need to stay overnight?" Jack asked, turning toward Owen who stood against his desk.

"Yeah. I'll be staying here with him tonight, just to keep an eye on him. His vitals are strong, and I don't expect any complications, but I want to make sure."

Jack nodded and looked back at Gwen who was positively livid by this point. She was not used to being treated this way and being ignored by Jack.

"You listen to me Jack Harkness!" She yelled, waking up Siani who groaned.

Ianto and the Doctor both leaned over her and Jack quickly stepped back over to the couch.

"Jack! I am talking to you!" Gwen yelled again, stomping her foot at being ignored once more.

Siani gave them a wave, signally that she was alright. After taking a moment to make sure she was okay via their link, Jack leaned down and kissed her forehead.

"Damnit Jack! You will listen to me you bas-"

"QUIET!" Jack roared, startling everyone, especially Gwen who stumbled back.

"I've given you your instructions, your fifteen minutes is down to ten. Say goodnight to Rhys and then we have some paperwork to do before you leave."

Gwen stood there stubbornly, refusing to move, attempting to stare down Jack.

Everyone else watched on, waiting to see what would happen. Jack could feel Siani and Ianto's gazes; in the past he would likely have caved in a situation like this, too afraid to risk losing someone else from his life. He was paying the price for allowing his own issues and fears to direct the way he treated his team, especially Gwen, and with the damage he had caused to his relationship with Ianto.

"Fine." Jack said. "Tosh, confiscate the items I named, also, search her purse and jacket for anything that may be Torchwood property."

Tosh nodded and hopped down from her chair, a little too enthusiastically given the situation.

Gwen was too shocked to react when Tosh took the said items off of her person and searched her. Only when she went to her desk and pulled out her purse to search it did Gwen finally react.

She started to sputter and argue, attempting to walk over and stop Tosh. Owen blocked her way by simply planting himself in her path.

Jack pulled out the chair from Owen's station. "Sit." He instructed Gwen.

"Jack, this is ridiculous, you have no right-"

Gwen stopped talking and sat down when Tosh pulled out two artifacts that Ianto had reported as missing from the archives. One was a compact laser gun, and the other a device that helped to "persuade" someone to do what you wanted. Both were classified as weapons. Tosh also retrieved a small bottle of Retcon and placed it on the desk next to the two weapons.

"You were saying." Tosh said.

Gwen's mind was working furiously, trying to conceive of some excuse that would get her out of this sticky situation, but she was finding it extremely difficult.

"Tosh," Jack said with thinly veiled anger. "Will you add these to the form I saw you working on and print it please?"

"Of course, Jack." Tosh said, only too happy to do so.

Gwen looked around nervously as the others watched her with emotions ranging from anger to disbelief.

A moment later Tosh began to print the form Jack had requested, and it printed, and printed, and continued to print until all 42 pages of it were complete.

Jack raised an eyebrow when Tosh handed it to him. He took the report without comment though, looking over it.

After several minutes of skimming the document Jack nodded and handed it to Gwen.

"Read it and sign it. If you refuse to sign it, it will be documented and added to the infractions listed."

"What is it?" Gwen asked, much subdued from a few moments ago.

"It's the justification for your suspension."

Gwen's eyebrows practically shot into her hairline.

"All of this?" She asked in disbelief.

"Yes." Jack said grimly.

He knew that Gwen didn't know it, but before Jack had taken over, any Torchwood asset that had accumulated even a tenth of the infractions that Gwen had, would have been liquidated. She was lucky that he had screwed up so badly, or else she would not have lived past her third month with Torchwood.

"This can't be right Jack! I'm sure that Tosh has embellished most of this." Gwen said indignantly.

Tosh drew herself up at that comment. Owen and Ianto both grinned; Mount Asama looked ready to erupt!

Jack stepped over and placed a hand on Tosh's arm. He knew that if he didn't stop her, that they would probably be picking up pieces of Gwen from around the Hub for weeks to come.

"Toshiko does not embellish Gwen; in fact, she was rather succinct in the report. Now be quiet and read the thing."

Gwen started to read, but stopped after the tenth page, she was only up to the events of her fourth month by that point.

"This is ridiculous; just give me a damn pen so I can sign it." She said holding out her hand imperiously for a pen.

No one moved. She huffed yet again and got up from the chair to get a pen.

"You really should read it all before you sign it." Jack warned.

"I don't care. I just want to go home. You'll need me within three days, mark my words. You lot won't be able to get on without me!"

She signed her name with a flourish before slapping the papers into Jack's hand and yanking her purse off of the table.

"Are we done?" She said to Jack belligerently.

"Yes, get out; we'll contact you in a month."

Gwen walked toward the exit, but stopped and turned saying, "You'll see me before then. Like I said, you can't do without me."

None of them bothered to respond. Tosh opened the doors allowing her out since she was no longer recognized by Mainframe as authorized personnel.

"Can someone tell me what the bloody hell is going on, and where did Gwen go?" A pale a wobbly Rhys said from the top of the med bay stairs.

Owen rushed over and began berating Rhys for getting up, and Jack sighed. He just wanted to go home.

Ianto had his arm around Siani who was now seated next to him with the Doctor on her other side. They all gave Jack a sympathetic look.

Knowing that this was something that he couldn't put off, Jack made his way down the stairs, still unsure how much he was going to open Rhys Williams' eyes. Hopefully the man would be able to handle it, and maybe out of all of this mess, they would gain something good.

"Aliens - in Cardiff?!" Rhys said incredulously.

"Don't be so surprised, especially after what you saw today." Jack replied.

"Too right!" Rhys exclaimed, trying desperately to wrap his mind around all of this.

"Alright, so there are aliens, and you lot catch them."

"Basically, yes." Said Jack.

"I'm guessing that all aliens aren't like the one from today." Rhys rubbed his temple with his good hand.

Jack nodded as he sat on the stool next to the examining table that Owen had padded in order for Rhys to be more comfortable overnight.

"You'd be right. There are some that come through the rift that are extremely dangerous and leave us no choice but to eliminate them. Many times though, they are peaceful or at least not openly hostile species that simply get lost or caught in the rift. Those we help however we can; whether it's giving them directions, or helping them to integrate into life on earth. We do what we can to protect all life, not just humanity's."

"That's alright, but what about you lot? This is definitely a dangerous job from what I've seen. Why did you bring Gwen into all this?" This was a main point of concern for Rhys; that and the deterioration of their relationship. He knew that it wasn't the best before she started here, but it had definitely gotten worse since then.

"We didn't bring her in per say." Jack explained. "She came after us; she wouldn't leave well enough alone and got caught up in a case."

Rhys chuckled and then winced as pain radiated from his gunshot wound.

"Ah, yeah, that sounds about right. But what's the problem now? Why is she acting like this, and getting herself suspended?"

Jack sighed. He wanted to tell Rhys everything; he realized that if they were able to persuade him to work for Torchwood that he would have to be told anyway.

"That's a very long story, and too long for tonight." Jack said.

He held up his hand to halt Rhys' interruption.

"Please. I won't go into all the details now, but I will give you an overview."

Rhys nodded and waited for Jack to start. He knew that there would be little to no good news, but he knew that this was something that he absolutely had to know. The woman that he saw today, that was not the Gwen that he loves. What he wasn't sure of is which one was the true Gwen, and which was the fabrication.

"Gwen's first day at Torchwood almost twenty people died because of a mistake she made."

Rhys raised his eyebrow but remained silent.

"She has consistently made mistakes that have resulted in very serious and in some cases fatal consequences for others. Now, I'll admit that much of the blame can be laid on my shoulders for that. I gave her a lot of leeway that I never gave to the others."

Rhys frowned, not liking that the Captain with the movie star good looks seemed to have given preferential treatment to his fiancée.

"I'm not making excuses but I did have several reasons why I did so. Gwen did not possess the level of skill that most people do when they come to work for us, she didn't have the appropriate training either so I thought initially that I should cut her some slack. The other two primary reasons are less justifiable though no less true." Jack paused.

Rhys felt his anxiety level shoot up; he had suspected that Gwen may be cheating on him. How could he even begin to compete with this man?

"When I first met Gwen," Jack continued. "I thought that she reminded me of a very dear friend that, at the time I thought to be dead. I have recently realized that nothing could be further from the truth. Also, and this is probably the biggest reason; when Gwen first found us she found out a secret about me, one of my biggest secrets. So out of fear that she would reveal my secret, I brought her in so that I could monitor her."

"So have you slept with her?" Rhys asked directly, dreading the response.

"No, I've never slept with Gwen, and I never will." Rhys sighed in relief.

"I'm not going to lie to you Rhys, as you may have noticed already, I'm a flirt. Its part of who I am, and I flirt with absolutely everyone. Gwen seems to have taken any attention that I have shown her the wrong way, and has got it into her head that I want her, and that we are meant to be together." Jack said as gently as possible.

"What?" Rhys croaked out.

"I don't say this to hurt you Rhys, but I told you that I wouldn't lie to you. She has zero respect for regulations and authority, and her delusions concerning the two of us have led her to think that the rules don't apply to her. The last several days things have come to a head, especially since my wife returned."

"Wife?" Rhys said in puzzlement. Gwen had always described her boss as a single man afraid of commitment.

Jack's face lit up with a smile, it was clear to Rhys that he desperately loved his wife.

"Yes, my wife." Jack replied. "You've met her actually, Siani returned to me just days ago from being held captive for years."

"Held captive?"

"Yes, that's another long story tied to the secret I mentioned. All of that will be explained later."

"Bloody hell." Rhys said tiredly. "I don't know what to say. I know I have about a million questions, but I can't think of a one at the moment. Your wife is Siani?"

Jack nodded and grinned.

"Good on you mate!" Rhys said with a wry grin.

"I know! I still don't know how I got so lucky!"

Rhys' face fell, "I thought once that I was that lucky, long ago; and I thought I might be with Gwen. I guess I have some thinking to do."

Jack reached over and squeezed his good shoulder in sympathy.

"Unfortunately there is still more to tell, but I think that what we've talked about is enough for tonight. I have just one thing I would like to ask that you think over; you can take as much time as you like, there's no rush."

"Alright, what's that?"

"Well, Ianto told us a little about your background, namely your education and experience. You did really well today in a very stressful situation. I would like you to consider joining my team. We could really use someone with your training, skills, and work ethic." Jack looked at him earnestly.

"Me? Catch aliens for a living? You've lost your bloody mind, I just drive trucks mate."

Jack smiled. "Maybe I have, but not where you're concerned I think. From what I understand you're much more than just a lorry driver. Ianto suggested you, and he doesn't give his approval easily. That in and of itself was enough for me to seriously consider you; your behavior today convinced me. Like I said, take your time and think it over."

Rhys just nodded, still trying to process the fact that this Captain wanted him to catch aliens.

Jack stood up from the stool.

"I'm going to leave you to get some rest. I'll send Owen down to check on you; you look like you could use another dose of pain meds."

"Cheers mate." Rhys said as the pain he had been trying to ignore made itself known again.

"You're in good hands Rhys, we'll see you tomorrow."

Rhys didn't respond, he was too caught up in considering everything that Jack had told him. Jack glanced back once before heading up the stairs.

He hoped that things would turn out right for Rhys Williams, he was a good man. But right now he had others to worry about, namely his two mates who seemed a little better after a trip to the TARDIS infirmary. He knew that he needed them home though; the problem would be letting them ever step out the door again.

Chapter Text

Chapter 17 - Sleepless Nights

Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008, 36 Tynged-Dragwyddol

The trio arrived at home and immediately made their way to the master bathroom, and into the jacuzzi. The Doctor had elected to stay at the Hub with Rhys and Owen that night, claiming that the TARDIS missed him.

While Ianto and Siani relaxed their battered bodies in the tub, Jack remained tense. He was on edge, both from the fact that his mates had been hurt which he hadn't been able to prevent, and that he was nervous about the talk he knew they needed to have.

Siani and Ianto reclined in the tub, heads back, and eyes closed.

"Stop it." Ianto said without opening his eyes.

Siani cracked one eye open and then closed it quickly. The TARDIS had helped her immensely, but her head was still bothering her.

"What?" Jack said nervously.

Ianto continued to relax as he replied, "You. You're so tense; I can almost hear your mind working from over here."

Jack sighed and submerged himself in the tub, washing the grime from the day away. When he emerged both of his mates were looking at him.

Ianto looked at him steadily, clearly curious, but as always unwilling to push Jack to talk. Siani also looked at him, though with less patience than normal. He could tell that her head was still bothering her due to the squinting of her eyes and the dull headache he felt echoing through their bond.

Siani shifted over, laid her head on his shoulder and wrapped her arms around his middle, laying her feet in Ianto's lap.

"What's wrong Shae? You know you'll feel better if you tell us."

"I'm not so sure about that." Jack replied.

He hugged Siani close on his right side and caressed Ianto's legs that were resting across his lap.

"I felt so helpless today. Both of you were hurt and I was just stuck there. I couldn't protect either of you and that makes me furious."

"Jack," Ianto said. "You know that what happened today wasn't your fault. Things got out of hand, but we're going to be okay. It's nothing that a little time won't fix."

"But it might not have been! I could have lost you!" Jack said, his voice rising in agitation.

Siani moved her right hand up from his side and laid it over his heart.

"Shae, I understand, I do. I was ready to kill that man that held a gun to Yan's head. It's very scary when the people we love are in danger," she said as she looked over at Ianto. "It's especially scary right now when we're not bonded yet; but that doesn't make it your fault."

"Yes it does, I should have listened to you and locked Gwen in a cell. Instead I took her with us and she almost got three people killed!" Jack grabbed at his hair with his left hand.

Siani reached up and extracted his hand from his hair.

"Hey, ease up on the hair please. I happen to like it the way it is; bald would not be a good look on you." She said with a smile.

Jack smiled slightly in response but quickly returned to his melancholy.

"That's not all though." He said quietly.

"Alright, what else then?" Siani asked.

"I was going to wait to bring this up until later, after you both had rested."

Ianto frowned. He hated it when Jack was evasive like this, he didn't like being managed in a relationship.

"I think we can handle it." Ianto replied.

Jack looked over to him, "I know, I'm just not sure that I can."

Siani sat up and turned toward Jack, "What do you mean?"

"I just - I can't lose you, and I'm afraid that after I tell you what I need to tell you that you won't want to have anything to do with me anymore."

Siani was about to reply when Ianto said, "Jack, we've stuck with you this long, we're not going to abandon you now."

Jack sat up straighter in the tub; he took a deep breath and slowly let it out before he spoke.

"I really hope you mean that, especially once I'm done."

"Shae, come on." Siani said as she placed a hand on his forearm. "It can't be that bad, it's not like you slept with Cooper or something!"

Jack looked at them both, "No, no I haven't slept with her, but I almost did."

Siani sucked in her breath, and Ianto looked as if someone had punched him in the stomach.

"When?" Ianto asked.

"Before you and I got together; well the day we got together actually."

Neither one responded so Jack continued.

"I want to be clear; I do not want Gwen Cooper. I have never really wanted her."

"And yet you almost slept with her." Siani said quietly.

"Yes." Jack replied softly.

"Why?"

"I was in a really dark place then. Everything had just happened with Suzie, and I had been struggling for a long time with thinking that Siani was dead. That day, that marked exactly 150 years according to my timeline, since I felt our bond sever."

Ianto and Siani did not comment, simply allowing Jack to confess everything uninterrupted.

"I was so conflicted over you Yan," Jack said as he met the other man's eyes. "I wanted you so badly, and yet you terrified me. Gwen had made it clear that she was willing; I simply dismissed it initially. She wasn't the one that I wanted, and she had Rhys; that's just wrong to me. But that day I felt the darkness closing in on me, I had lost my mate, and I thought that the man that I wanted so desperately wanted nothing to do with me. Everyone already thought that I was a philanderer, so I gave up; I was going to take her up on her offer just to try to escape from the weight of everything. I knew that it would be a terrible mistake, but I was past caring at that point. No matter how many times I had killed myself, it didn't help ease the pain; it was always there waiting when I awoke."

Siani and Ianto both winced when Jack spoke of killing himself.

It made Ianto sick to think of Jack doing that to himself; he knew how much Jack hated coming back to life alone, which must have been even worse under those circumstances. His heart ached for Jack, but also for himself. He always knew that Jack was lying about Gwen; he knew that something was going on, and this proved it.

"But that night," Jack paused and smiled at Ianto. "You came to me. You pulled me out of the darkness. You stopped me from making what would have been one of the worst mistakes of my life."

Siani sat back, trying to process this information and how it made her feel. She felt sympathy for Jack; she knew what that darkness felt like. At the same time, he had told them that he never wanted Gwen, and that was a lie apparently. What else had he lied about? Maybe all of those things that she had seen were - no, no they couldn't be true.

It was silent for a few minutes, agonizingly long minutes for Jack.

"Were there other times?" Ianto asked.

"What do you mean?"

"I mean that you told us that you never wanted Gwen. Obviously that's not true, so were there other times that I got in the way of your plans?" Ianto said.

Jack's mouth hung open in shock, he couldn't think for a moment.

"I- wha- no, Yan, it wasn't like that. You didn't get in the way of anything, you rescued me!" Jack said firmly.

"Interesting spin. And so all those other times when you were mooning after her, that wasn't me getting in the way? You sure seemed to be unsettled when you found out she was engaged. What was that?" Ianto's anger was increasing; all of the feelings that he had been repressing were coming to the surface.

Jack's heart was pounding, this is exactly what he was afraid would happen.

"Yan, I told you about that already. I was afraid of losing anyone else from my life, and Gwen reminded me at the time of my friend Rose. She and I traveled with the Doctor, and I thought that she died at Canary Wharf. I was envious of what she had with Rhys. I thought that I had lost Siani, and since she was my mate I knew that was it for me. I thought that you and I could never have that together, and it broke my heart, Yan."

Ianto shook his head and stood up from the water. He got out of the tub and started to dry off.

"Where are you going?" Jack asked brokenly.

Siani watched him with wide eyes, terrified that he was leaving them.

"I can't do this right now. I'm going to sleep in the guest bedroom." Ianto walked out the door and out of the master bedroom without looking back.

Jack's head dropped and tears slid down his face.

"Why did you lie?" Siani asked him.

He looked up, meeting her eyes for the first time since he began his confession. He saw all the hurt and pain she had endured, but also the memories of the happiness they had once shared.

"I was still trying to figure everything out initially. I knew that I never really wanted her, so I couldn't understand my own behavior. My talk with the Doctor helped me realize a few things. I knew that I had to explain it to you both now that I understood it myself, I didn't feel right proceeding towards the bonding without sharing this."

Siani nodded her head, and Jack watched her face closely. Their bond wasn't closed off but they were both filtering to an extent due to Siani's head injury, so he couldn't really pick up on what she was thinking or feeling.

"Did you lie about anything else?"

"What do you mean?' Jack asked with a frown.

Siani looked off to the side, unable to look at Jack as she asked. "All those people that I saw you with, did you lie about them too? Were they an escape as well?"

"Isi." Jack said with hurt in his voice. "I swear to you on our bond, that I told you the absolute truth. There have only ever been you two, and Lucia. That's it."

"Alright. Okay." Siani said quietly, taking a moment to let that knowledge sink in before she spoke again.

"There's something about that though that I need to ask you."

Jack nodded reluctantly; he really didn't want to discuss sleeping with other people with his wife. The guilt of it still threatened to consume him from time to time.

"Do you actually remember being with Lucia?" Siani asked, looked up at him.

Jack looked at her in confusion and frowned, thinking back, trying to remember any details.

"I- well, not really, no. All I remember was waking up in the morning and she was there. She said that we had slept together and that I had hit my head earlier that day, which is why I figured that I didn't remember it."

"And then she came to you later and told you that she was pregnant?"

"Yes. What are you getting at Isi? I don't understand." Jack tentatively grasped her hand.

"Think about it Shae. She told you that she was pregnant and that the baby was yours. Does that not seem odd to you?"

"Why would it- seem- oh. Oh my goddesses!" Jack sat there, completely speechless.

"How could I not see that? Alice isn't mine, she can't be, it's impossible! Oh God!" Jack placed his head in his hands.

"I was in the archives with Yan yesterday and I happened to see a file that documented the initial recovery of that item that Gwen stole. Lucia had it in her possession during that time frame, I obviously don't know for sure, but it's likely that she used it on you."

"Why would she do that? She hated me; she made Mel- Alice hate me too!"

Siani shook her head sadly. "I don't know Shae. Maybe she wanted some security for her child. Apparently the real father either wouldn't or couldn't take responsibility, so she used you instead."

"This explains so much. My gods I'm an idiot! How could I not have figured this out before now? I always wondered why it seemed that Alice never resembled me in the slightest, now it all makes sense. What do I do Isi?" Jack asked, he looked so lost that she felt her anger dissipate some.

"That's up to you really. You can tell her, or not. It's your decision."

Jack sat there, deep in thought. He felt like such a fool for not seeing it earlier.

Siani shivered as the water cooled, and the motion snapped Jack out of his introspection.

"We need to get you out of this tub and into some warm clothes. Come on," He said as he stood and assisted her out of the tub.

Jack grabbed a towel and gently ran it over her body, taking care to be especially gentle with her arm and ribs. Once they were back in the bedroom he went to the dresser and pulled out the top from a set of Ianto's pajamas. The button-down would be easier to manage with a still healing arm and ribs.

Jack helped her dress and tucked her into bed.

"Where are you going?" Siani asked as Jack pulled on some underwear and stepped toward the door.

"I just figured that you wouldn't want me in here tonight." Jack replied quietly as he stared at the wall above Siani's head.

"Get in the bed you ninny. I'm not overly happy with you right now, but I'm not sleeping alone tonight." She said as she pulled back the covers for him to join her.

Jack smiled, "Alright."

He hesitated and shuffled his feet, looking at the door.

"I'll be back, I'm going to go check on Yan, see if I can get him to come back to bed."

Siani nodded, "Okay, don't push him though; he has every right to be angry right now."

"I know." Jack sighed; he left the room and walked up the stairs to the bedroom where Ianto was staying.

Knocking softly he called out, "Yan?"

Hearing no reply he tried again, "Yan? Can I come in please?"

Still receiving no reply, he tried to open the door, only to find it locked. His heart sank at this very clear message.

Jack laid his hand on the door, he wasn't sure if Ianto was still awake or not.

Before he turned back to go downstairs, he leaned close to the door and said, "Yan, I'm so sorry. I never wanted to hurt you in any way, but I seem to keep on hurting you. I don't want to do that anymore, I love you so much. Please give me a chance to prove just how much."

Jack hesitated, "I love you Yan, good night."

Jack stepped away from the door and made his way back to their bedroom dejectedly.

Ianto who had been leaning against the other side of the door the whole time slid to the floor. Tears fell unchecked down his face as he let Jack walk away. He knew that he had been overly harsh with Jack; but he was so tired of having to just take everything in stride.

He felt completely gutted every time Jack would give Gwen that look; that longing, wistful gaze. It always made him feel like he was in the way, a convenient distraction until Jack finally decided to make his move on Gwen.

According to Jack that was not the case at all. Even if that is true, it doesn't lessen the hurt that he's been carrying all this time. It must be true though, Siani would be able to tell if he was lying, right?

Ianto got up from the floor and made his way over to the bed. He didn't want to be in here at all. He wanted to be in his giant bed with both of his mates surrounding him, but tonight he would sleep alone. If he slept at all.

He settled into the bed and laid there, his injuries throbbing duly. Ianto knew that he had some thinking to do. Just a few days ago he had resolved to let go of the past, to not let it rule his present and determine his future any longer. Here he was again though, still dealing with the same heartache.

Somehow, before this night was out, he had to work this out for himself. He couldn't agree to allow Jack access to his inmost thoughts and feelings if he didn't feel that he could trust him. So in spite of how much his body needed the rest, he knew that there would be no rest for him that night.

It was the same for Jack. He lay in their bed with Siani, who was sleeping fitfully curled around him, staring at the ceiling. He didn't know what to do to fix this. He had done the right thing in telling them, he was sure of that. Really, Ianto's reaction was no worse than what he had been expecting.

He had hurt his young lover countless times; many of them he probably didn't even know about at this point. Jack wanted so desperately to make this right; and he would. He would show Ianto that he could trust him with his heart, that he wouldn't be so careless with it this time around. If only Ianto would give him the chance.

The next morning, Jack rose at dawn. He hadn't slept at all that night; rather he spent the night thinking and enjoying holding his wife, though he desperately missed Ianto's soft snoring beside him.

He slipped from the bedroom, closing the door softly, and quietly made his way up the stairs. Opening the door with his Vortex Manipulator, he made his way over to the bed where Ianto lay.

He wasn't wearing his characteristically relaxed, angelic face as he slept. His forehead was creased in a slight frown. Taking care not to wake him, Jack leaned over him and gently kissed his lips.

"I love you Yan." He whispered.

Jack stepped back and made his way over to the door. He paused and looked back at Ianto for a moment before he closed the door and proceeded downstairs.

Ianto opened his eyes as soon as he heard Jack going downstairs. He had been awake the entire night, and didn't want to face Jack first thing.

Several minutes later he heard the garage door close and the SUV start as Jack left for work. He got up and made his way downstairs where he found Jack's note, explaining that he had gone into work and that they should spend the day resting.

Ianto sighed and made his way back upstairs. He crawled into bed behind Siani, spooning her. He had missed the presence of his two mates during the night. He knew that he would forgive Jack, but right now he hurt.

He didn't want to go ahead with things simply because they are mates, and it's what is expected. At that moment, Ianto didn't feel that he could truly place his trust in Jack, and that was something that they needed to deal with before they took one step closer to marriage/bonding.

Still haven't been proposed to yet, though.

Ianto had finally taken the pain meds Owen had sent him home with while he was downstairs, so he eventually drifted to sleep as he prayed that things would somehow be miraculously better when he awoke.

Chapter Text

Chapter 18 – Reconciling the Present with the Past

Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008, 36 Tynged-Dragwyddol

The weak rays of the Welsh sunshine filtered in through the windows of the master bedroom and began to illuminate the couple entwined on the bed.

It was mid-morning, and Siani had been awake for about an hour. She thought back over Jack's confession from the night before, this time focusing on the facts instead of her feelings.

Jack had done nothing wrong, aside from lying, she concluded. She understood the pain he felt during that time, as it was a pain that she shared. To him, she was long since dead, and he had given up hope of winning Ianto and having a life with him. He was in essence free of any relationship obligations, and free to do as he liked. He didn't actually sleep with Cooper; and if the feelings she felt from him briefly the night before were any indication, the fact that he had even considered it made him slightly ill.

Then there was the fact that he didn't have to tell them, but did anyway. Had he not said anything, they never would have known that this had almost happened. But her Shae had done the right thing, and made the tough decision to be honest with them both.

Despite feeling the urge to be violently ill, and then just plain violent, at the thought of even the possibility of her husband with Gwen Cooper, she was immensely proud of him for telling them. Now all she wanted to do was gather him in her arms and offer him the forgiveness which, though unnecessary, he felt that he needed.

She looked across the pillow at Ianto as he slept. Her heart ached for him; he had such a well of hurt, anger, and insecurity inside of him. Siani didn't need to have access to his thoughts to know that he had taken Jack's confession as a confirmation of all the suspicions he had held over the course of their relationship.

She sighed and turned in the bed so that she was propped up on one arm facing Ianto's sleeping form. Siani's heart clenched as she thought of how easily they could have lost him yesterday.

Siani knew that Jack was right, that they needed to discuss and resolve their problems before they bonded; the bonding was not a magical fix-all. If they left their issues unresolved and bonded anyway, the ability to access each other's thoughts unfiltered could cause far more harm than good to their relationship. Part of her though, wanted it done as soon as possible to ensure Ianto's safety. If anything happened to him, it would quite literally destroy them.

As Siani continued to watch him sleep, she thought about all that had occurred since she joined her mates in the past. She had known that there were problems in Jack and Ianto's relationship, but she was beginning to see that maybe they weren't all caused by Jack's conduct as it had initially seemed. Her Welshman was as stubborn as they came; and once he was convinced of something, it would be easier for the UN to come to a complete consensus than for him to change his mind.

Secretly, she felt a little resentful, though she hid it well. Siani knew that Jack and Ianto were not being intentionally hurtful, and she also knew that neither one of them realized just how close she was to losing her mind when the Doctor found her. Were it not for his timely rescue, she knew that it would not have taken much longer before her captors finally broke her.

The TARDIS had saved her; her body had been the easy part, but the damage to her mind had taken much more time and effort to begin to heal.

In one aspect she was glad that she could focus on helping Jack and Ianto, it kept her from dwelling on her years of torture and captivity. It was almost an escape of sorts after fifty years of only pain as her constant companion. Despite the distraction, she knew that she couldn't run from her trauma forever; she was just so tired. She was tired down to her core; completely wrecked and in need of time to heal, free of angst and misunderstandings.

Hopefully sometime soon she could be the patient instead of the doctor; purely in the figurative sense of course, although . . .

Ianto shifted, and Siani watched as he began to awake. He turned into her warmth, drawing her close as he opened his eyes.

Siani stifled a gasp as he unintentionally squeezed her sore ribs. She schooled her expression before he looked up at her.

Ianto smiled, "Good morning."

Siani leaned forward gingerly and kissed him.

"Good morning Yan."

He smiled up at her contentedly as he continued to wake. She knew the moment that he was fully awake by the way his entire body tensed.

Ianto closed his eyes and rolled over onto his back. He rubbed his eyes.

"So that all really happened then?" He asked Siani as his eyes remained closed.

"If you're referring the conversation we had last night then yes. If it was something extremely naughty and fun, then sadly no, that didn't happen." She replied lightly as she ran a finger across his clavicle.

Siani saw his mouth twitch slightly before turning downward once again.

"Yes, the conversation. I knew it all along, I really shouldn't be surprised. I just feel so foolish for actually trusting him again." Ianto said.

She could hear the hurt and anger in his voice as he spoke, and while she understood his feelings, his reaction also made her mad.

Siani pulled herself up to a sitting position, and leaned back against the headboard before looking down at Ianto again. He remained still, one arm draped over his eyes.

It wasn't easy to find the appropriate reply, once upon a time it would have been. She was the diplomatic one after all. At that moment though, she wanted to throttle him and comfort him in equal parts. Weighing her options and the likely results, Siani came to a decision.

"Just what is it that he has done to break that trust Ianto? What have you 'known all along'"?

Ianto brought his arm down and looked up at her with a dumbfounded expression.

He sat up as well and turned to face Siani.

"Were we not part of the same conversation last night? You heard him!" He said with increasing agitation.

"He was bloody well going to fuck that walking bordello! I always knew that he did want her, I knew he was just killing time with me."

Siani remained silent as Ianto continued to rant, waiting for him to release some of the pressure before he blew.

Several minutes later he finally fell silent, panting from yelling and trying desperately not to break down into tears once more.

She reached across the distance between them and took his hands in hers. She waited until he looked at her before beginning.

"Yan, I get that you're hurt. I understand that, but you are not thinking about this rationally."

Ianto started to interrupt, but Siani continued.

"I think that you are letting your fears cloud your judgment. Use that beautiful, brilliant mind of yours and really think about what Shae said last night." She paused to give him time to think.

"Did he actually sleep with her?" Siani prompted.

"No, at least he said that he didn't, but-"

"He didn't Yan, I would know if he did." She looked at him earnestly. Siani held his hands tighter when he tried to pull away.

"Yan, you know Jack." She paused. "You know what he's like when he wants something. Do you honestly think that if he truly wanted Cooper that he wouldn't have had her. All he would have had to do would be to snap his fingers and she would have been all over him. You know it as well as I do. So if he really wanted her, why did he not take her?"

Ianto hesitated, slowly starting to think things through.

"Well, Rhys-"

"Would not have been an issue."

Ianto frowned.

"If he had indicated that he was interested, she would have dropped Rhys Williams in a heartbeat."

He nodded slowly, acknowledging the truth in that statement. The way Gwen treated Rhys absolutely made his blood boil. To this day, he didn't understand how Rhys had ended up with someone like Gwen. Ianto had always thought better of him, at least until he had gone off to Uni.

"As for him wasting his time with you, well, honestly Yan, I would really like to slap you right now." Siani said, jolting him out of his musings.

"Huh?" He eloquently replied.

"Do you truly think so little of him? Do you think that he would use you just to kill time and warm his bed?" Siani asked, a hint of steel lacing her words.

Ianto looked away. He hadn't thought of it in those terms. In a way, yes, he had thought that; but he thought that was because he wanted Gwen and couldn't have her.

Siani continued. "Would he pour his heart out, lay bare some of his deepest trauma and pain to someone that he was only using as a stand-in?"

"Did you ever tell him how you felt, how the things that he said or did affected you? Or did you just bottle it all up and decide that he wouldn't care?"

With every word she spoke Ianto felt the injustice of his own; he felt how unfair he truly was being to Jack.

Siani rose from the bed, her movement jarring Ianto from his thoughts.

"Where are you going?" Ianto asked.

He knew it was silly, but he felt a flash of fear, fear that she would leave him and not come back.

Siani turned and stepped back over to the bed. She placed her hands on top of the comforter and leaned into Ianto, drawing him into a slow kiss.

She simply caressed his lips for several minutes before drawing his lower lip into her mouth and gently sucking. She released his lip and delved her tongue into his mouth where she was immediately met by his own.

Ianto ran his hands up her arms and settled them on either side of her face, gently holding her close as he fell deeper into her kiss. It was slow and sensual, and he felt heat rush through his body.

After some time Siani pulled back and looked into Ianto's eyes.

"I love you." She said quietly.

Ianto stroked the side of her face and leaned forward to kiss her once more, briefly.

"I love you as well." He replied.

Siani smiled at his somewhat dazed expression.

"I'm going to get ready and head to the Hub."

"But Jack said that we should stay here and rest." Ianto said. He wasn't keen on taking orders from Jack at the moment, but he was even less eager to go into work today.

"I know, but I'm going in anyway. Besides, I think you need some time to yourself to think things over, and those addicts need their caffeine."

"No. You don't have to go, stay here." Ianto held her hand as she stood up from leaning on the bed.

"No, it's alright. You need this Yan, there's nothing wrong with that. We all need time to ourselves now and again to think things through. Can you do something for me though?" Siani asked as she reached up to run her hand over his sleep-mussed hair.

"Anything," Ianto readily replied.

"Just remember what it has taken for us all to get here, how many events had to fall into line in order for the three of us to find each other. And try to think of things from Jack's perspective, alright?"

"I'll think about it. I love you, so much." Ianto said as he watched Siani dress.

"I know. Now, I'll be off; I'll see you later love."

She kissed him before walking over to the doorway.

"Be safe," Ianto said as he got out of bed and followed her out into the hall.

"Do you remember how to deal with the cabby? Oh! Do you have money for the cab fare, and your phone? Maybe-"

"Yan!" Siani said with a laugh from the bottom of the stairs. "I'm alright, I've got what I need to get there. I'll text you once I arrive, let you know that I got there safely."

Ianto smiled, only slightly embarrassed by his rambling.

"Sounds good, I'll see you later."

Siani smiled back and turned to head out the doorway and to the Hub.

Several hours earlier . . .

Jack had left home early after a sleepless night. He thought of going straight to the Hub, but he knew that he didn't want to deal with Owen and the Doctor's questions at the moment. Instead he made his way up to his favorite lofty perch overlooking the city.

He stood up there for several hours, just thinking. Part of him really wished that he hadn't said anything to Ianto and Siani about what he had almost done. Even though rationally he knew that he had done nothing wrong at the time, he still felt guilty about it.

He knew that Ianto would take it badly, but he had hoped that once he told them that they would be able to sit down and discuss it. Jack wanted all of this behind them. He was so tired of fighting the same battles over and over again.

Jack wasn't sure what more he could do to convince Ianto of his place in his heart and his life. For some reason Ianto continued to hold on to the belief that he isn't the one that Jack wants.

After some time Jack realized that he wouldn't find the solutions to his problems on the rooftop, and decided to make his way to the Hub.

One thing he had figured out though, whatever this was that was causing Ianto to doubt him went deep. Somehow, somewhere along the way, someone had convinced his beautiful Welshman that he wasn't enough.

Jack knew differently, and he was determined to get to the bottom of it.

 

Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008, Torchwood

Jack walked into the Hub to the sound of Owen yelling and swearing at the Doctor.

"Get the hell away from me! Leave it alone already!"

Owen seemed to be losing a game of chase, though he obviously wasn't finding it fun.

Jack noticed the swelling on the side of his face and the ice pack he was trying to apply to his jaw while running from the Doctor.

The Doctor, for his part, seemed to be enjoying this.

"I've got the setting right this time, I'm sure of it."

He said as he approached Owen.

"I said no, you tried it once and made it worse, no more! Next thing you try could take my bloody head off!"

Owen finally noticed Jack standing near the couch with his arms crossed, clearly amused by the situation.

"Jack! Get this nutter away from me!"

Jack laughed as Owen actually attempted to hide behind him.

"Alright. Alright!" Jack said in between laughing. "What's going on here? What happened to your face Owen?"

The Doctor and Owen finally stopped and both looked sheepish.

"I told Rhys that I slept with Gwen. That's what happened to my face, initially anyway."

Jack raised a brow and turned to the Doctor who looked a tiny bit guilty, not much, but a bit.

"Weeell, there may have been a slight problem with the settings on my sonic screwdriver when I attempted to reduce the swelling on Owen's face. Not a problem though, I'm sure I've fixed it."

Jack shook his head at both men before heading toward the med bay, and most likely an angry Welshman.

Owen and the Doctor continued to argue back and forth until Owen initiated a video game competition between them.

When Jack reached the bottom of the med bay stairs he took in the state of the man on the table.

Rhys was propped up and leaning against some pillows, looking thoroughly dejected. He looked like a man whose entire world was quickly crumbling around him.

Jack pulled a stool over to the table and sat down facing Rhys.

"Rhys. How's the shoulder?"

Rhys looked at Jack, noting the sympathy and genuine concern in his eyes. He sighed gratefully; he couldn't handle the other man's pity at the moment.

"S'alright. Mind you I think I pulled it a bit when I laid into that medic of yours."

Jack nodded.

"I can't say I blame you for that, I would have done the same if I were in your place. You should be careful with that shoulder though, it's pretty vital. Owen's face on the other hand . . ." Jack shrugged. "Well, let's just say it's not nearly as essential."

Rhys grinned at Jack's attempt to cheer him up.

"Oi! I heard that!" Owen yelled from above.

"I know." Jack yelled back.

Both Rhys and Jack chuckled before allowing silence to descend between them.

Rhys observed the Captain. He seemed troubled; even in the short time that Rhys had known him, he could tell that the man was not himself.

"You alright mate?" He asked, startling Jack from his thoughts.

"Me? Of course." Jack tried to give his usual disarming smile, and failed.

"If you say so." He paused for several moments. "What am I supposed to do now?"

"How do you mean?" Jack asked as he leaned forward, resting his arms on the table.

"I mean- shit Jack! My whole bloody life's gone to piss! I find out that there are aliens, real live aliens, and they just so happen to crash land in my city. I got shot. I'm beginning to wonder who the woman I'm living with really is; and to top it all off I find out that she's been screwing around on me!"

Rhys was clearly upset and all of a sudden he seemed very young to Jack.

"I understand that this is a lot to take in at once, and I am sorry about Gwen. Honestly, we all knew about it, but I didn't feel that it was my place to say anything. I will say though, that as much as I wished that it had never happened, I'm glad that Owen told you."

Rhys clenched his jaw in anger before slowly releasing the breath he had been holding.

"Yeah, you're right. As much as I want to punch him again, I'm glad he told me. He did say that he regrets it, so that's something I suppose. You want to know the worst part?"

He looked at Jack sadly. Jack simply nodded for him to continue.

"I remember now."

Jack frowned in confusion.

"What do you mean? What do you remember?"

"I remember that Gwen told me about the affair; but not before she drugged me so that I wouldn't remember. She told me only so that I would forgive her, but then forget. That didn't go the way she planned." Rhys scoffed.

Jack sat there stunned. This irrevocably sealed Gwen's fate. He knew that she had stolen a highly dangerous drug, since they found it when Tosh searched her purse. But to then find out that she used it for personal gain on a civilian; Gwen's days at Torchwood were unquestionably over. He only had to decide on the manner of her departure.

"Owen!" Jack yelled, startling Rhys.

They heard a small crash, followed by muffled swearing before Owen appeared at the top of the stairs.

"What's wrong?" He asked as he ran down the stairs and immediately stepped over to examine Rhys' injury.

"No. Rhys is alright, it's not that." Jack sighed tiredly.

Owen stepped back from the table and crossed his arms, waiting for Jack to continue.

"Well? Why did you bellow then?"

"When did we first notice that some Retcon was missing?"

"I'd have to check my notes, it's been several months. Why do you ask, I assume it was Gwen who took it since Tosh found some in her purse?"

"Yes, it was undoubtedly Gwen who took the Retcon, but now we know that she actually used it. Since it was several months ago, she wouldn't have been trained on its use yet, proper dosage, potential side effects, all that."

"Shit!" Owen said as he turned around and started looking through the cabinet where he stored his notes.

"Who did she give it to?"

"Me." Rhys said.

Owen looked up from his notes, realization dawning on him.

"You mean she - ah shit mate, I'm sorry!"

For once, Owen was not his usual snarky self. He walked back over to Rhys and began to check him over once more.

"Do you remember any other instances of memory lapse, waking up confused, not knowing what was going on around you?"

Rhys thought back, trying to recall if there had been other times that Gwen might have drugged him.

"I can't think of any. What's the problem? Other than the fact that Gwen cheated, lied and drugged me, that is?"

"Owen?" Jack asked.

"Well, everything looks alright."

Rhys was getting frustrated with the lack of answers and was about to start demanding some when Jack gently laid a hand on his arm.

"We had to make sure that the drug she used didn't cause any lasting damage."

"It can do that?" Rhys asked, for the first time thinking beyond the personal implications of what Gwen had done.

Owen nodded. "If administered in the incorrect amount, it could wipe out your entire life. There's a reason why we don't allow brand new agents access to Retcon."

Owen shook his head.

"So he's okay then?" Jack asked.

Rhys looked to Owen for confirmation. As pissed as he was at the man, he was a damn good doctor, and he knew that he would tell him the truth.

"From what I can tell you're fine Rhys, but if you think of any other instances where parts of your memory seem to be missing, let me know. Alright?"

"Sure." Rhys replied.

Jack sat back down on the stool heavily.

What a bloody mess.

"Owen, find out what date that we discovered the Retcon missing. Once Tosh comes in I want you two to work together to go through the security footage until you find out when she actually took it. If anything appears to be tampered with, I want to know about it. Then have Tosh add another disciplinary write-up to Gwen's file."

"Isn't that a book by now?"

"Yes, and it's one that's about to end."

Owen and Rhys both looked at Jack who was clearly angry.

"Right. I'll start on that. Rhys you good on pain meds?"

"Yeah, it's alright."

"Good. I'll be upstairs if you need me."

Owen quickly made his way back up to the main Hub, eager to be away from both men.

"So what exactly does that mean Jack?" Rhys asked after several moments.

Jack stood up and began to pace at the end of the table.

"It means Rhys, that I'm forced to add another variable to the decision I asked you to consider. Before I do that though, I need your word that you will not speak of this to anyone outside of the Doctor and Torchwood, with the exception of Gwen; especially not with Gwen."

"Alright, I can do that."

"I still want you to join us, like I told you last night; I think that you would be a great asset to the team. I'm trying to change things here Rhys. I'll be honest, I don't want a big team, I've never wanted a big team. But I realize that we have to grow some in order to do what needs to be done and to all come home safely afterwards."

Jack paused and sat back down.

"As of this moment, Gwen Cooper is no longer a part of Torchwood."

Rhys looked shocked, "If this is just because-"

Jack shook his head vigorously. "No Rhys. This isn't just because of what she did to you. It's that, along with the things I told you last night, and a myriad of other things. I told you that I'd tell you everything; this seems as good a time as any. I'm not from here you see . . . "

Jack told Rhys everything; from Boeshane to his relationship with Siani and Ianto, and everything that had happened at Torchwood since Gwen joined. He found it strangely liberating to actually be able to choose to tell someone everything. Normally he lived in fear of discovery.

Rhys was naturally skeptical of a great deal of what Jack said initially, but as his story progressed he began to see that as incredible as it seemed, he was telling the absolute truth.

By the time Jack finished it was late morning; Tosh and Owen were almost finished researching the theft of the Retcon, and Rhys looked ready to drop.

"Wow. I just- wow."

Jack laughed.

"After saying it all aloud, I have to agree."

"It is all a little unbelievable, but it's fantastic too. You deserve some happiness after all that."

Jack smiled at Rhys, "Thank you. I appreciate that."

"Well, this makes my decision a little easier."

Jack raised a questioning brow.

"I wanted to take you up on the offer to join up, but I wasn't sure about working with Gwen. Now that I know all this I know what I need to do. She's cheated before you know."

Jack remained quiet and let Rhys talk.

"As much as she likes to pretend that I'm an idiot, and don't see what she's up to, I did. It wouldn't surprise me if she's cheated on me for the duration of our relationship. To be honest, I just tried to ignore it, tried to convince myself that I was so in love with her that it didn't matter. Really I was just fooling myself. I was trying to replace what I lost with Gwen, and she's a poor substitute."

Rhys lay back into the pillows and stared up at the ceiling.

"Sorry, but I have to ask after that. Who was Gwen supposed to replace?"

Jack pulled Owen's chair around and sat on it, that stool was brutal on the arse after a few hours.

Rhys smiled nostalgically.

"She can't replace her, not really, no one can. But Gwen was there, right after I lost her, and she was so persistent that I finally gave in to her constant begging."

He looked over at Jack who was clearly confused.

"Did Ianto not tell you how we know one another?"

"He said that you grew up on the same estate. He also said that there was more to it, but we haven't had a chance to talk about it yet."

Rhys laughed, "That's Ianto for you, always the master of the understatement. I first met Ianto when he was five years old, and I was ten. He had just moved to the estate with his Mam, his sister, and his new stepfather. They lived two houses down from ours."

Jack leaned forward as he listened to Rhys. He was eager to hear about Ianto's childhood. It was a part of the young man's life which he rarely spoke about, and when he did it was only very briefly. Come to think of it, he was almost as reticent about his childhood as Siani was.

"I first met him on the playground; some of the other neighborhood boys were picking on him. He was the new kid, and he was pretty quiet; preferred to keep to himself mostly. I stepped in and broke it up, I was bigger than most of them; and that's when I saw her for the first time. She came storming across the playground at the boys who were bullying her brother. I ended up having to pull her off of them."

Rhys laughed at the memory.

"She looked like Buddug storming across that field! Anyway, that was the day that changed my life. I told her that day when I walked them home that I was going to marry her."

"You didn't?!" Jack said laughingly.

"No mate, I really did!"

"Looking back now it's pretty funny; Rhi looked at me like I'd lost my mind before stomping into the house. I'll never forget Ianto though; he stood there and just looked at me, so serious for such a little tyke. It was kind of unnerving really, but he stared at me for a while and then he nodded, smiled, and walked into the house."

"That sounds like my Yan." Jack said wistfully.

Rhys noted his tone, but decided that it wasn't his place to ask.

"Yeah, well over the next nine years we were pretty much inseparable. I finally convinced Rhi to date me when I was sixteen and she was thirteen. We dated all through school and even when I first started Uni. Ianto was my little brother; both of them were at our house more than their own. Their stepfather wasn't the best of men, and their Mam wasn't well."

"What was wrong with her? And what do you mean he wasn't the best of men? Did he hurt them?"

"I can't say about their Mam, it isn't my place. Roger though, he was a right piece of work he was. Most of the time he would just yell at them, but as they got older, and their Mam got worse, so did he. Every now and then he would get pissed and knock Ianto about; Tad and I actually went over to stop it several times. Normally Rhi would call me any time he started, so we were able to stop the worst of it."

"Why did no one report him, have him arrested?"

"We did. Several times, but he had mates on the force and so it always ended up worse if we reported him, so we finally stopped and just tried to take care of it ourselves."

Jack began cursing under his breath in several different languages. He couldn't fathom someone hurting a child, let alone his Yan.

"Rhi and me, we had it all planned out." Rhys swallowed, forcing himself to not choke up. "She is three years younger than me, see. So we were going to graduate at the same time, her from school and me from Uni. I already had some places that were interested in me, so we planned to get a place together, and have Ianto come and live with us. We couldn't leave him there alone."

He stopped, and tried to surreptitiously wipe a tear away.

"What happened?" Jack asked gently.

Rhys choked out a laugh, "That's the thing, I don't know. To this day I still don't know what happened. I went home as often as I could, pretty much every weekend. I had my brothers watching out for them. Almost everything I made working while at Uni that first year went to bus fares between Cardiff and Newport. Finally I was able to convince Rhi to come visit me at Uni. Things were great, God I was so in love with her! But after that visit things changed; she wouldn't talk to me when I called, when I went home she didn't want to see me. Finally after several weeks I cornered her and made her talk to me. She told me that she wanted to breakup that things just weren't working out with me being all the way in Cardiff."

Rhys wiped his face with the back of his hand.

"I was completely destroyed; couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, if it hadn't been towards the end of the semester I probably would have failed. I begged and pleaded for months, trying to get her to reconsider, but it was no use. I remember the look on Ianto's face during those months, he just looked so- disappointed, and I've never known why. I ended up staying in Cardiff over the break since I didn't have a reason to go home. Then the next thing I knew, my brother rang me up to tell me that Rhi had run off and married Johnny fwcing Davies, and was quitting school. As you can imagine, I was gutted. I tried to check up on Ianto. When he did talk to me it was mostly one word answers. I tried to get him to go stay with my folks, but he wouldn't leave his Mam. I still don't know what happened to him after Rhi left, I spent many sleepless nights trying to figure out how to get him out of there, I was so angry at Rhi for leaving him there. I lost track of him once he went off to London. Two days ago was the first time I saw him in about six years."

Both men sat in silence, thinking over what Rhys had just related. It didn't add up to Jack; from what little Ianto had told him of his sister, and Rhys' description of her, she didn't seem like the type of person that would just walk away from such an important relationship. An idea began to form in his mind, one that he really hoped was wrong.

"Rhys, when did you meet Gwen?"

"First year, not long after classes started. She needed tutoring. Why?"

"Did Rhiannon ever meet Gwen?"

"No. Well, wait." Rhys paused, trying to think back to the one time Rhi had visited him in Cardiff. "Now that you mention it I think she did. Yeah, she did. We ran into her on campus, I left them to talk while I went to pick up my paycheck."

"Hmm."

"Hmm what? Wait!" Rhys jerked his head around to look at Jack. "You don't think?"

"It certainly seems in character."

"Oh my God. Oh my- that bitch!" Rhys yelled, drawing Tosh, the Doctor, and Owen to the med bay.

"What's wrong?" Tosh asked.

Rhys wasn't listening and had slipped into his native Welsh, "Mae hynny'n ast difetha fy mywyd!"

The Doctor raised his brows in surprise at Rhys' outburst.

"Troubles?" He asked.

"Yeah," Jack replied. "We may have figured something out, and as you can see it's nothing good. Don't worry about it guys, go back to work."

"Yr wyf yn mynd i redeg dros ei gyda fy lori!"

Jack let Rhys rant until he wore himself out and collapsed back into the pillows.

"Better?"

"Not really, but thanks."

Jack nodded.

"I'm assuming that you plan to end things with Gwen."

"You're damn right I do. I've got to talk to Ianto."

Jack placed a hand on Rhys good shoulder.

"Take some deep breaths. You can't go anywhere at the moment with that shoulder, and he won't be in until tomorrow. Listen, I know that this is a very unfair thing to ask of you, especially considering what we think may have happened all those years ago; but I need you to keep up the pretense of a relationship with Gwen."

Rhys went to interrupt, but Jack held up his hand to stall him.

"I know, I know. It's only until her suspension is up and we decide how to deal with her. She's a loose cannon at the moment, and she needs to be contained. Consider this your first assignment with Torchwood."

"Can't I just go wrestle a rabid alien instead?"

Jack laughed.

"Sorry, but no. I wouldn't ask this of you if it wasn't completely necessary."

Rhys nodded, "I know, doesn't make it any better. You know that she'll be worse than ever don't you? Without work to occupy her she'll probably start stalking you."

"Oh she's already attempted that." Jack replied, and received and incredulous look from Rhys.

"It's true! Either way we've got it covered; Tosh tagged her with a biological tracker before she left the Hub, we'll know where she is at all times."

"Probably for the best, I-"

Rhys was interrupted by the sound of the proximity alert on the cogwheel door.

Jack quickly made his way up the stairs, since everyone that was supposed to be in today was already there.

He sighed in relief as he saw Siani walk through the doors, and then frowned.

"You're supposed to be at home resting, why did you come in?"

Siani crossed the Hub, handing out coffees as she went. They weren't as good as Ianto's, but this particular shop was alright, according to Ianto's grudging recommendation. She stopped in front of Jack, handed him his large coffee, and leaned up to kiss him soundly on the lips.

"Hello to you too." She said as she pulled away.

"Hi," Jack replied with a grin.

"To answer your questions, I feel much better and well rested, and I was bored."

"Alright," Jack replied aloud.

And I wanted to talk to you. She said via their link.

Is Yan alright? What happened this morning?

That's part of what we need to talk about, I'll meet you in your office.

"Okay people. Owen, would you check on Rhys, I'm pretty sure he could use some more pain meds and something to help him rest. He got a little worked up during our conversation."

Siani sent him a questioning look before making her way up the stairs to Jack's office.

"Tosh, when you have a moment, will you check the tracker, we need to keep close tabs on her."

"Sure thing Jack."

"Doctor." Jack said to the Time Lord who was spinning in one of the office chairs. "Just, don't break my Hub."

The Doctor gave him a salute to which Jack rolled his eyes before turning to head up the stairs. He only hoped that this conversation would be more pleasant than the one he just had.

Chapter Text

Chapter 19 – Conflicts and Confessions

Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008, Torchwood

Siani was seated at Jack's desk with her feet propped up on it when Jack entered his office. He shut the door behind him and made his way over to her. Siani had already closed the blinds, insuring their privacy. Unfortunately, neither one was in the mood to take advantage of the solitude.

Jack sat on the edge of his desk in Ianto's usual spot and crossed his arms. He looked at his wife apprehensively and waited for her to talk.

Siani studied her husband, he was so handsome, and even after all of these years he still made her heart pound. She wanted nothing more than to just grab him and Ianto and run away somewhere, to escape all of the problems that have dominated almost every waking moment since she arrived.

Siani sighed.

"I left Yan at home so he would have time to think things over on his own. We talked this morning and hopefully he'll consider what I said."

"And what exactly did you say?" Jack asked cautiously.

Siani lowered her feet to the floor and moved the chair over so that she sat in front of Jack, resting her hands on his thighs.

"I won't go into everything that was said, you and Yan need to talk to each other, I won't be a go-between."

She looked at him seriously until he nodded; he then reached out to place his hands over hers.

"I did tell him that he needed to stop viewing things through his fears. He's so afraid Shae, and I don't know what to do to help him."

Jack stood up from the desk and gently pulled Siani out of his desk chair. He leaned down and kissed her before sitting and pulling her into his lap. He held her close to him, reveling in the feel of her pressed against him.

"I don't know either Isi. After talking with Rhys though, I think that some things have happened to Yan that we don't know about, and those things are still influencing the way he sees himself and everyone around him."

"What do you mean? What did Rhys say?" Siani asked with concern.

"Apparently Ianto's stepfather was abusive. Something was wrong with his mother's health, I don't know what, Rhys wouldn't say. But Ianto's sister ran off and got married when Yan was fourteen, leaving him alone. I don't know what else happened but . . ."

Jack proceeded to tell her everything that Rhys had told him about his interaction with Ianto and his family.

"I'm going to kill that bastard!" Siani said.

She was furious that her Yan had been hurt and abandoned like that.

"I'm pretty sure that he's already dead Isi, but if he wasn't I'd be right there with you." Jack said as he rubbed her arm.

"Doesn't matter," Siani said stubbornly. "The TARDIS likes me; she'll take me back so I can kill him."

Jack grinned at her. She was fierce when people hurt those she loved.

"As gratifying as that might be, I think that Yan needs our attention more. I just hope that he's not too upset that we know about this now." Jack said.

He frowned, worried that this could possibly cause more problems between them.

Siani smoothed his brow with her thumb, the way she always used to do. The gesture brought back a flood of memories for Jack of happier times. They smiled tenderly at one another, both sharing those thoughts.

Siani brought her head forward and rested her forehead against Jack's.

"I was just thinking earlier that I want nothing more than to escape all of this with both of you. We could just run away together someplace that no one would ever find us."

"Mmm," Jack brushed her lips softly with his.

"Would we have to wear clothes?" Jack asked against her lips.

Siani grinned widely and leaned back slightly.

"I think that I could be convinced to make our little hideaway clothing optional." Siani said, wiggling her eyebrows playfully.

"I love the way you think mela." Jack grinned back.

They both laughed, but the moment of levity quickly passed, and Siani once again began to consider all of the issues that lay before them. It was all becoming just a bit much. They were together now, they should be able to just be happy and disgustingly in love, not burdened by the ghosts of the past and psycho bints.

Siani ran her hands across Jack's shoulders, basking in his strength, strength that she desperately needed. Throughout her life she had to be strong, she had no choice. She had to protect her little brother, her mothers; she had to stand up to her own father as he tried to use his own family for gain; and for over fifty years she was forced to be strong in the face of her captors.

Only after she married Shae did she ever feel safe enough to show any weakness; for the first time, she experienced what it was to actually be the person protected for a change. She had missed it. She was so tired.

Jack watched his wife's beautiful face, the face that he had longed to see again for so many long and lonely years. He watched as tears began to cloud her eyes, and then fall unchecked down her cheeks.

"Hey," Jack said, pulling her closer. "What's this about?"

He gently brought his hand to her face to wipe away her tears, as he held her tightly with his other arm. Jack hated it when she cried, it didn't happen often, but when it did it tore his heart out.

"Talk to me Isi, tell me what's wrong."

Siani leaned over and tucked her face in his neck, breathing in his scent while making herself as small as possible in his embrace. She knew it was silly, but she really just wanted to hide here in his arms. She was rapidly losing her composure as more and more tears fell, spurred on by the safety and comfort of her husband's arms.

"It's all w-wrong," she sobbed. "We lost fif-fifty years Shae, m-more for you. I'm so tired, so tired. Mis-missed you so much it hurt. Al-always saw you with other peo-ple, thought you didn't love m-me. Ass-hole hurt my Yan, why c-can't I ki-kill him? Missed you so much. Miss my bub. Want you, w-want Yan, go h-home, safe, hap-happy."

Jack rocked Siani as she sobbed, tears falling from his own eyes. He just cradled her close to his chest, letting her cry. He had been anticipating something like this, she always bottled everything up inside until she couldn't take it anymore.

He kissed her head, softly whispering words of love as he tried to comfort her. After some time her sobs quieted, and she lay in his arms crying softly.

"Alright?" Jack asked softly.

Siani simply nodded, pulling him even closer.

"You're safe now my mela, I've got you. It will all work out, we're together again and Carad will be here soon."

Jack gently leaned back to look at her tear-stained face, but still held her securely like he knew she needed.

"We're going to be happy Isi, the three of us. This is all just a bump in the road. We'll help Yan heal, and each other. I love you so much my love, and I missed you too. We're going to be so disgustingly happy that others won't be able to stand us!"

Jack congratulated himself internally as she smiled and even laughed softly.

They sat like that for quite a while, holding each other, and drawing strength from their bond. Of course the peace and solitude couldn't last forever as Siani's phone began to ring. They knew it had to be Yan since the only other people with her number were down in the Hub.

She sat up and picked up the phone from her desk, wiping the last of her tears away before answering.

"Hello," she said croakily, cringing a bit as her voice betrayed her.

"Isi? What's wrong?"

"It's nothing Yan, I'm okay, just a little emotional is all."

"Alright, do you need me; I can be at the Hub in a few minutes if you need me."

Siani smiled, "I would love to see you as always, but I'm alright. I'm feeling better now. Did you need something?"

"No, I was just calling to let you know that I'm heading over to my sister's house. Are you sure you're alright?"

"Yes, I'm sure. Do you know when you'll be home tonight?"

"Well, I was actually going to stay at Rhi's tonight." Ianto said hesitantly.

He was already reconsidering his decision because he knew Siani was upset.

"Oh," Siani said, clearly disappointed. "When are you coming home then?"

Jack frowned as he listened to Siani.

"Sometime tomorrow, I'm not sure when exactly. I'll come home tonight if you need me to." Ianto said gently.

"No, it's alright. You need to visit your sister, it's been awhile since you last saw her hasn't it?"

"Yeah, months."

"Are you going to tell her?" Siani asked.

"I think so, I've been thinking about what you said, and I just need to talk things out with someone that's not involved."

"Alright," Siani said, a little disappointed.

She understood, but that didn't stop her wishing that he would talk to them instead.

"Hey," Ianto said.

"Yeah?"

"I love you."

"I love you too Yan," Siani smiled.

"I'll see you both tomorrow. Can I talk to Jack a moment, if he's there with you?"

"Sure," Siani said, glancing up at Jack. "He's right here. I love you, be safe."

"I will be, and I love you as well."

Siani handed the phone to Jack and laid her head back down on his shoulder while her two mates talked.

"Hi Yan." Jack said hesitantly.

"Hi Jack. Listen, if it's alright for me to take another day I was going to go to Rhi's for a visit."

Jack swallowed his hurt as Ianto addressed him as only his boss, and nothing more.

"Of course, you never take days off anyway. Um, can-can I still stay at your house, or should I move my things back here?" Jack asked softly.

Ianto sighed and closed his eyes, not the best idea since he was about to get onto the M4. His heart broke a little at the insecurity and hesitance in Jack's voice. He realized that he was being an arse, he never wanted to make Jack doubt his place in his heart or their home.

"Jack, it's your home too, not just mine, of course you can stay."

"You're sure?" Jack asked, trying not to hope too much.

"Jack, I was angry, still am a bit. We need to sit down and work this all out, but right now I just need some time with my sister to clear my head, get some perspective. I'll expect to see you both when I get home, alright?"

"Okay Yan. Um, there is something you should know." Jack said nervously, he really didn't want to tell Ianto something that might hurt him but he had no choice.

Ianto was immediately on his guard, the last several conversations like this hadn't gone well. He listened as Jack very briefly told him what Rhys has shared about his childhood. He wasn't happy that Rhys had told Jack, but he realized that it was inevitable.

"And I'm sorry Yan, I guess I should have stopped him, but I didn't want to be rude since it was his story too. Can you forgive me?"

Ianto sighed as he continued down the motorway to Newport.

"Jack, there's nothing to forgive, really. It's not your fault. I'm not very happy with Rhys at the moment, that's something that I should have been able to share with you both when I was ready, but it's done now. I'm not ready to talk about that yet though, so please don't ask."

"I won't, I swear. Just know that when you are ready, you can talk to us. We're here for you Yan, we love you."

"I love you too."

Despite the problems they were having, Ianto could not ignore how wonderful it was to hear those words from Jack. He sat grinning like a loon as he continued to drive and talk to Jack over the hands-free connection.

"I should probably hang up Jack; I'm almost to Newport now."

"Oh, okay. Enjoy your visit Yan and call us if you need us. We should have your family over sometime soon."

Jack said all of this, trying desperately to contain his excitement.

"I'll see how things go this visit, and then we can make plans afterward, if my sister doesn't have me sectioned first."

Jack laughed, "We'll rescue you if she does."

"I'll see you tomorrow, I love you Jack."

"I love you too, Yan, bye."

"Bye Cariad."

As soon as he hung up Jack broke out into an uncontrollable grin and squeezed Siani tightly.

Siani laughed and smiled widely.

"He still loves me!"

"Of course he does, he was just being a bonehead."

"He's not mad that we know about his childhood, but he doesn't want to talk about it yet. That's something that can wait for now. Ahhh!"

Jack essentially squealed and hugged her tightly, making Siani laugh once again at his exuberance and very apparent joy.

"I know we still have things to resolve, but I'm just so glad that I haven't screwed things up so badly that he wants nothing to do with me. Honestly, when I left the house this morning, I wasn't sure if I'd be allowed to come back."

"Oh Shae." She said.

Siani hugged him close and kissed him firmly.

"You're both boneheads, but you're my boneheads. I swear if I wasn't immortal you would both have already given me grey hair. You're more angsty than a couple of teenage girls."

"Hey!" Jack said indignantly.

Siani grinned naughtily and stood up from his lap to lean back against the desk.

"Shae, you know it's true."

His resulting glower only served to make her laugh again.

"We do not act like teenage girls!"

"Yes, actually you do, but I love you anyway."

"Thank you so much for your benevolence." Jack replied sarcastically.

"You're quite welcome!"

Siani winked at Jack, eliciting a growl from her mate.

"Do you know something that Yan and I were able to work out, despite our apparent adolescent mentalities?"

"What's that?" Siani asked with a chuckle.

"This desk is just the right height for so many wonderful activities."

"Is that so?" Siani asked.

The look he gave her set her heartbeat pounding and her palms sweating. It had been a long time since she had seen that look on his face.

"Oh yes," Jack said as he stood up and stepped in front of his wife.

He leaned down and captured her lips in a searing kiss, stealing her breath and making her head spin. Goddesses was that man good with his tongue! Then he set his hands on her shoulders and slowly began to caress his way down her body. He grasped the hem of her t-shirt, one of Ianto's rugby shirts actually, and quickly pulled it up and off of her before tossing it behind him. Jack cupped her full breasts in his hands and squeezed them gently at first, and then with increasing firmness; Siani moaned loudly in response. Softly he moved his thumbs back and forth across her nipples which pebbled at the stimulation, teasing her with the lightness of his touch.

"Shae! Oh yes!" Siani moaned as one of his hands stayed at her breast while the other ventured onward.

"Would you like me to demonstrate why the desk is the perfect height?" Jack pulled back and whispered against her lips before once again crushing them against his own.

Siani nodded enthusiastically, her head too fuzzy from the lack of air and Jack's kisses to speak.

He reached the waistline of her jeans and popped open the button, and began to slowly lower the zipper as he plundered her mouth and played with her breast.

Siani's whole body felt like it was on fire. She had almost forgotten how good it felt to be with her mate like this, nothing else compared. She wasn't sure she would survive their full bonding with both Jack and Ianto together. Oh well, if she had to go, that would be the way to do it.

She moaned aloud again as Jack stepped in between her legs and pressed his erection against her center. Her head fell back and Jack attacked her neck with his lips.

He was just about to lower her jeans when the rift alert sounded.

They both groaned.

"You have got to be kidding me! I'm going to die of blue balls!" Jack cried. He leaned his head between her breasts, trying to steady his breathing and will away his erection.

Despite her own frustration, Siani couldn't help but laugh at Jack's dramatics.

"Come on, help me get redressed. We can continue this tonight at home."

"Promise?"

"Oh mela, that's something that I can definitely promise. I want your mouth on me, I want you to make me cum so hard that I can't breathe. Then I want to taste you, to kiss you all over and then feel the weight of you on my tongue as I drink you down."

"Fuck! Isi, you can't say shit like that!" Jack pushed her back against the desk and shoved his hand down the front of her panties.

"So wet. I can feel how much you want it, want me to hold you down and make you scream my name."

"Shae! Oh fuck, don't stop!" Siani cried out as Jack began to run his fingers back and forth, circling her clit and then down to thrust inside of her repeatedly. He continued to fuck her with his fingers and rubbed his aching cock against her inner thigh.

"Ah baby, you look so hot like this, panting for me. Come on sweet girl, let go. Cum for me, cum on my hand Isi!" Jack whispered hotly in her ear.

Siani cried out loudly and began to shake as her orgasm hit her so quickly that it took her by surprise.

They stayed like that for a moment, Jack's fingers still inside her as they struggled to even out their breathing.

Siani leaned up and pulled Jack into a heated kiss, quite ready to forget the world and continue what they had started.

Of course the universe seems to hate Jack at the moment, and they were interrupted by his intercom buzzing.

"Um guys, sorry to...interrupt (*Owen giggling in the background*), but we've got a rift alert."

Jack sighed and pulled back from his wife slightly.

"We'll be right down Tosh."

"Yeah you will!" They heard Owen say.

"Okay Jack."

"Yeah, if you think you can-" Thankfully, Tosh cut off the rest of Owen's response.

Jack slowly pulled his fingers from inside of her, eliciting a moan from Siani as he intentionally brushed her over sensitive clit. Siani stood up from the desk on shaky legs as she watched Jack suck his fingers into his mouth and moan.

"Shit." She said breathlessly.

"Mmm, so good. Now," he said as he pulled her into his arms. "We have to go to work, but I expect to still get to do all of those deliciously naughty things you said earlier once we're home."

"Yes, def-definitely."

Jack grinned, he loved seeing Isi like this. He loved knowing that it was him that had caused this amazingly brilliant woman forget how to string a sentence together.

Reluctantly they separated. Jack grabbed her shirt from atop the lampshade in the corner while Siani zipped and buttoned her pants, checking to make sure that the evidence of their activities wasn't visible through their front.

They straightened their clothes and smoothed their hair as well as they could. All the while Jack grumbled about Fate being a bitch that he must have pissed off at some point, and that someone up there owed them some uninterrupted happy time.

Siani just smiled widely at her husband, though she did have to agree. She felt a little bad that he was suffering, but she was so blissed out at the moment that it was hard to concentrate. Hey, fifty years without an orgasm would do the same to anybody!

They made their way downstairs, ignoring the knowing looks they were receiving.

"What have we got Tosh?"

Tosh grinned and looked back to her computer screen.

"Weevils, in Penarth. It looks to be about three or four of them."

"Right," Jack said, already in motion.

"Tosh, Doctor, you're with me-"

"Wait a minute!"

"Hold up Jack!"

"Hey!" Jack said loudly, stopping Siani and Owen's protests.

"Siani, love, I'm sorry, but you're not cleared for field duty yet so I can't take you with me. Owen, you have a patient, and a fitness exam to complete. Hopefully we won't have any autopsies for you when we get back."

Jack and the other two hurried out of the Hub leaving Owen and Siani standing there.

"So . . ." Owen said. "Have fun?"

"Oh yeah, and it was about to get even better, but once again we were interrupted." Siani said with a growl that was very reminiscent of her husband's.

Owen grinned at her, "Ah, Torchwood, the ultimate cock-blocker."

Siani rolled her eyes.

"You have no idea."

 

Newport, Wales, Earth, 2008, Davies Residence

Ianto pulled up to the curb in front of his sister's house, glad that he had thought to take his Tad-cu's old sedan instead of the Audi. He may have grown up here, but he was under no delusions that his car would still be intact by morning had he brought it.

He saw Rhiannon peek out the window and then open the door, waving him in with a smile. Ianto got out of his car and made his way to the house. Even though he was pretty much terrified of revealing the truth about his life to his sister, he was glad to be here. They used to be very close, before she ran off with Johnny anyway.

Over the years the two men had called a truce of sorts for Rhi's sake; really it was more of a ceasefire. Ianto didn't like Johnny Davies, he never had; and one thing he knew for certain was that he was not good enough for his sister.

Pushing those concerns aside, Ianto smiled as he reached the door and was pulled into one of his sister's back-breaking hugs.

"Oh, it's so good to see you Ianto!" Rhiannon said into his shirt.

"It's good to see you too Rhi."

They pulled back and Rhiannon led him into the modest home.

"Are Johnny and the kids about?" Ianto asked.

"No, Mica and David are still at school and Johnny found a job with a mate of his earlier this week."

"That's good," Ianto replied as he followed his sister into the kitchen.

"So this is all a bit sudden. Not that I'm not happy to see you, because I am, but it's not like you to just pop in out of the blue for a visit. Is everything alright?"

Rhiannon questioned her brother as she moved about the kitchen, preparing tea.

Ianto watched her, knowing that she wouldn't accept his help if he offered, so he sat down at the table.

"Of course, well mostly, I-" Ianto took a deep breath. "Honestly Rhi, there are a lot of things I need to tell you, and some things I'd like to talk to you about. But first, how are you? How are things with Johnny and the kids?"

Rhiannon turned to face her brother after setting the kettle to boil; she looked closely at his face. She could no longer see much of the boy he used to be, and that saddened her a bit. He did seem better off than he was the last time she saw him though, happier, more at peace, though it was clear that something was bothering him.

"Things are alright I suppose, well as can be. Like I said earlier, Johnny found a job earlier this week with a mate, so that helps."

"Rhi, you know that-"

"No Ianto. We're not taking your money, I won't hear of it. Tad-cu left it to you, and with good reason."

The two siblings shared a look that communicated what neither of them would ever say. They knew that their Tad-cu didn't want Johnny to get his hands on his money, so he left almost all everything to Ianto. That was yet another point of contention between Ianto and his brother-in-law. What Rhiannon didn't know about though, were the trust funds he had set up for David and Mica before his death. He knew that he couldn't leave anything to his granddaughter, so he trusted Ianto to make sure that she was taken care of properly.

"Anyway," Rhiannon continued. "Mica's doing well, getting good grades and making friends. David, well, he's been a bit of a challenge recently. He and Johnny aren't getting on too well."

"Any reason you know of?" Ianto asked.

"None come to mind, he could just be at that age where he's testing us you know. I'm not sure, but I'm sure that it will pass."

She smiled weakly.

The kettle began to whistle, so Rhiannon turned back to prepare the tea. Not many people knew it, but what Ianto could do with coffee, Rhiannon could do with tea. They really could take over the world if they had a mind to do so.

She brought the tea to the table and served, carefully preparing Ianto's tea just the way he liked it. Once she had settled with her own cup her eyes were on him once again.

"So, what are these things that you need to tell me?"

Ianto took a deep breath, trying again to prepare himself for the task ahead of him.

"How long do we have before the others get home?"

Rhi raised a brow in a manner identical to her brother.

"Oh, a little over three hours I'd wager."

"Alright. Um, Rhi, many, well most of the things I'm about to tell you will sound crazy, but I swear to you that they are the absolute truth. You remember when I moved to London?"

"Of course, you started working at that insurance firm."

Rhiannon looked at him in confusion, not really sure where this was going.

"I never worked at an insurance firm. I worked for-"

"Ianto, if you're about to tell me that you're bloody James Bond again you can leave off right now. I'm not falling for that!"

This time it was Ianto's turn to roll his eyes.

"If memory serves me correctly, I was 10 when that happened; and no, that's not what I was going to say."

Miraculously she remained quiet and waited for Ianto to continue.

"I worked for an agency known as Torchwood; our headquarters at Torchwood One was located at Canary Wharf."

Rhiannon's eyes widened as she recalled why that name sounded familiar.

"Torchwood was founded by Queen Victoria 1879 to protect the British Empire from non-terrestrial threats."

Ianto paused, taking a drink of his cooling tea, to allow a rapidly blinking Rhiannon to process what he had just told her.

"When you say 'non-terrestrial,' you don't mean little green men from outer space do you?"

Ianto chuckled, which seemed to relax his sister.

"Unfortunately no, not all the aliens are little, or green for that matter, but they are real, and that is our purpose."

"Right, I'm just not going to say anything for now because you asked me to hear you out; this had better be one bloody good explanation." Rhiannon said.

So Ianto told her about his time with Torchwood One, about Lisa and his friends there; he told her about the many amazing things that he had seen and learned. Then he told her about that day, the day that she only knew of as a terrorist attack.

He cried as he told her about Lisa, what those monsters had done to her. He told her about his suspicions shortly before the attack that she was cheating on him, and the guilt he felt afterwards because he was seriously considering calling off their engagement. Then he told her about why he returned to Wales and what he had done to get into Torchwood Three.

By this point, as crazy as it all seemed, Rhiannon was starting to believe him. She may not know about aliens and tears in time and space, but she did know her little brother, and he was telling the truth.

Ianto continued to tell her of his early days in Cardiff and her blood boiled with impotent rage at the people that had treated her brother that way.

She cried with him as he told her about Abby and Dr. Tanazaki, and then about Lisa. He didn't talk much about his month suspension, he didn't think that would be a wise idea; he had come close to ending his life several times. Somehow, he was pretty sure that his sister knew that too, as she squeezed his hand tightly.

They stopped for a bit to compose themselves, and this time Ianto made coffee.

He then told her about his growing attraction to Jack, and the dreams about Siani. She was horrified when he told her about the cannibals; of course she had heard about it on the telly, but this was her baby brother and they almost butchered him. Her estimation of this Jack character went up just a bit when she heard about the rescue he pulled off to save Ianto.

Ianto talked about the development of his relationship with Jack, his insecurities, and some cow named Gwen Cooper. That named almost sent her into a panic.

Surely it can't be the same person!

Rhiannon quickly composed herself and listened as Ianto also described his dreams of some woman named Siani, of how he felt that he was falling in love with her just as much as he was Jack. Talk about complicated. Each step of the road, Ianto laid out to her; she was completely shocked to find out that Siani was real, and married to Jack of all people!

Her heart broke for her brother, sure that this was the reason why he had some to her, but to her surprise he continued. The things he told her! Time travel, soulmates, triads, and bonding rituals!

She was beyond shocked, but continued to listen. So Ianto told her everything including the fight with Jack last night and what Rhys had told Jack earlier that very day.

She was thunderstruck at learning that Gwen bloody Cooper worked with her little brother. Not only that, but she seemed to be stalking his boyfriend (mate, whatever). What left her speechless though was the explanation of what Rhys (her Rhys, no, not hers anymore) had said to Jack. Her whole life came crashing down, and she felt as if the walls were closing in on her.

She didn't realize that she had begun to hyperventilate until Ianto was beside her, instructing her to take slow, deep breaths. Finally her breathing was back under control and she looked at her baby brother with tears in her eyes. She saw the young boy that she had abandoned because of her broken heart, because of the lies of that woman.

Rhiannon sobbed into her hands.

"Oh God! What have I done? How could I have been so stupid? I left you! How could I do that to you?"

Ianto held his sister as she cried, trying not to let his own tears fall as she asked the same questions that he had a million times when he was younger.

"Yanny, I'm so sorry. Please forgive me! I never should have left you, no matter what that cow said, no matter how scared I was. I still should never have left you alone!"

She pulled at his shoulders desperately as though hoping that she could somehow go back and hold onto him then.

Ianto hugged her tightly, "Shh, Rhi. Calm down, I do forgive you. I understand why you broke up with Rhys now. It's alright, calm down."

After several minutes Rhiannon had finally calmed down enough to be embarrassed by her outburst.

"I'm sorry Ianto, you were telling me about your life and I went and had a breakdown about mine!"

She laughed a little awkwardly.

"It's alright Rhi, I just gave you several years' worth of information, and most of it is pretty out there."

Ianto smiled ruefully causing his sister to chuckle.

"Be that as it may," she said, wiping the last of the tears from her face. "We need to talk about you and this relationship you've got yourself into now."

Ianto blushed and tried unsuccessfully to hide a grin.

This more than anything convinced Rhiannon that this unconventional union just might be exactly what her brother needed. He had suffered enough in his young life, and he deserved only happiness from here on out; so if it took two people to provide it, who was she to question it.

She watched her brother's face as she asked, "Do you love them Ianto? Jack and Siani, do you really feel that they are your soulmates?"

Ianto looked at her and her breath caught at the beaming smile that dominated his face; she had never seen him look more beautiful.

"Yeah, I do love them, more than anything. I can't explain it completely Rhi, but there's this electricity, and feeling of peace and just, rightness about us together. That's part of why our fight last night bothers me so much."

He said as his face fell.

"I'm going to tell you what I think, and since you came here to talk to me, I'm going to assume that's what you wanted."

Rhiannon said with a grin, which coaxed one from her brother.

"I think, my darling brawd bach, that you do not see yourself clearly."

Ianto frowned, "I don't think that has-"

"Hush now, it has everything to do with this. From what you've told me, your Jack, he's made his share of mistakes to be sure. But when you think about the life he's lived they become more understandable; now I'm not saying that the way he treated you was right, or that you can't feel hurt because of it. But Yan, there comes a time when you've got to choose what is more important to you. Do you want to spend your life alone, consumed by the things that hurt you in the past? Or do you want to move on, to live your crazy, unbelievable life with the two people who love you the most out of all time and space?"

Ianto looked at his sister, suddenly feeling very young again.

"I want them." He said softly.

"Good," she said with a smile. "Because I think that they will do you a world of good. But there's something else that I think you need to do before you can really be happy together. You need to bury that bastard once and for all."

Ianto winced at the reminder of his stepfather. Both of them were so caught up in their conversation that they didn't hear the side door open, or see the figure that stopped to listen.

"You need to stop listening to his voice Ianto. You are special, and smart, and beautiful, and everything he could never be. That's why he said those things all the time, and why he hurt you. He was a weak, pathetic excuse for a man, that was going nowhere and he knew it!"

She reached over and touched the side of his face.

"Ianto, don't let him ruin your life. Don't let the things he said make your decisions for you, don't do what I did."

Ianto took her hand from his face and held it between both of his.

"What do you mean Rhi?"

"I mean-" Rhi paused to force down the tears.

"I mean that I never should have listened to him all those years ago when I broke up with Rhys. He said that it was no wonder that I couldn't hold onto Rhys, that I was too stupid, too fat, and a whore on top of it all. I had only ever been with Rhys, Ianto! But I was alone, and scared, and I didn't know what to do. I knew that I couldn't stay there, so I had to figure something out for me an-and my child."

Ianto's head snapped up, and he looked at his sister with wide eyes.

"You mean David? Does Rhys know? Wait, does Johnny know?"

Rhiannon shook her head as she looked at the floor, too afraid at what she might find if she looked at her brother.

"No, Rhys never knew. That Gwen girl told me that she was pregnant with his baby, and that she was so amazed at how well I was taking the breakup. I just couldn't stay and wait for him to break my heart with the words, so I left, and I broke it off. He wouldn't leave me alone though; I didn't understand why then, makes sense now though. I never told Johnny. He was after me for so long, and I'm ashamed to say that he was really a way out for me and David. I was still early enough that nobody questioned it when David was 'early.'"

The figure at the door slowly stepped out and silently closed the door behind them, contemplating what they had just overheard.

"God, I'm so ashamed Ianto. Honestly, Johnny's not a very good husband or father, but he didn't deserve to be lied to and taken advantage of like that. I've never said anything to anyone, but I think on some level that David knows that he isn't Johnny's son, that's why they keep clashing. He's so much like Rhys, Ianto, and I love it and hate it all at the same time. Just promise me Yan, that you won't make the same mistakes that I made. Don't listen to that man, and if his voice ever starts to overwhelm you, you call me, or get one of those mates of yours to tell you what they see in you. Just, live Yanny, live an amazing, happy life, and give me lots of nieces and nephews!"

They both laughed. The front door opened and Mica and David came barreling into the house followed by Johnny.

"Ewythr Ianto! Ewythr Ianto!" Mica cried. "You're really here! I thought you'd never get here!"

Mica talked excitedly, telling him all about her school, her friends, and the bunny she saw near the school yard as she crawled up into his lap. David stood back a little just watching, like he always did.

He was very observant and somewhat reserved, another reason why he and Johnny clashed. Johnny was of the opinion that boys should be loud, love rugby, and chase after girls; David did none of those, especially at the age of nine, and was therefore thought to be a disappointment by his father, a right nancy boy like his Uncle.

Johnny just watched the scene silently, already tired of Mica's endless prattle, and pissed off by David's skulking. Not only that, but he had been there a full five minutes and there was no beer in his hand. The least his worthless wife could do was to get him a damn beer when he got home. And now he had to put up with his poncy brother-in-law in his house. His day couldn't get any worse.

Finally Mica paused to breathe and Ianto looked up at the other occupants of the room.

"Johnny, congrats on the new job."

"Yeah, thanks." He practically grunted.

Rhiannon jumped up as if shocked and immediately went to the fridge and opened a beer before taking it over to Johnny. She didn't make eye contact and received no thanks, quickly making her way back across the room to her seat.

Ianto, and David, watched all of this silently while Mica continued to share everything that she had encountered since she last saw her Ewythr.

Johnny rolled his eyes and stalked off into the living room, turning on the telly. Ianto didn't miss the look of hurt that crossed the little girl's face. Suddenly, Mica was very subdued and tears welled in her large blue eyes, so much like her mother and Uncle's.

Ianto cuddled her closer and reached his hand out to David, pulling the boy to his side and wrapping his arm around him. He couldn't do this when Johnny was in the room because it always started a fight, with Johnny insisting that they needed to stop babying the boy.

David was a sensitive child, and while he tried not to let his father's hurtful words affect him, sometimes he couldn't help it. But he loved his Uncle Ianto; he wanted to be just like him when he grew up. He felt safe with his Uncle, protected, and accepted.

Ianto placed a kiss on top of Mica's head and one on David's cheek. He felt so guilty for not coming around more often. That would have to change; he knew that Jack and Siani would love his niece and nephew just as he did. Maybe he could convince Rhi to bring herself and the kids up to Cardiff for a visit, and then he might just kidnap them all and make them stay. He didn't want them here, his instincts were screaming at him to get all three of them as far away from this house and Johnny Davies as possible.

In her typical way, Rhiannon could almost sense what her brother was thinking; she slowly shook her head at him. Ianto frowned in reply, and Rhiannon looked away.

"Well Bach, Babi here has told me about what she's been up to, what about you?" Ianto asked David quietly.

David shrugged and looked down at his feet, though he did lean into his Uncle's embrace.

"Have you read any new books lately? Did you finish the Harry Potter book I got you?"

David nodded, "I'm reading Oliver Twist now."

"Dickens at nine, really? Well, I am impressed! I certainly couldn't have done that!" Ianto exclaimed, praising his nephew.

David looked at him in disbelief.

"Of course you could have Uncle Ianto, you're the smartest ever!"

Rhiannon smiled as her son opened up and began to talk in a way he only did with Ianto.

"Thank you for that, but I'm hardly the smartest ever. Have I ever told you about my friend Tosh? She's much smarter than I'll ever be."

"Wow! Is she really? Can I meet her?"

"We might be able to arrange that." Ianto smiled at David's enthusiasm.

David was so excited that he might get to meet a friend of his Uncle's, and one he said was even smarter than him. David didn't quite believe that part, but he figured that his Uncle was saying it to be nice to his friend.

"I also have two very special friends that I want you both to meet."

"And Mam too?" Mica asked.

"And Mam too. Their names as Siani and Jack, you'll have to come and stay at our house in Cardiff sometime."

"Really?" David asked.

"Yes really." Ianto smiled and kissed David's forehead.

He loved his sister's children greatly; they were so precious and made him want his own.

Ianto happened to glance at the clock, and noting the time he said, "I guess it's time for us to start on supper. How does that sound, do you two want to help?"

They both nodded.

"That's lovely for you to offer Ianto, but don't you need to get going now?"

The children's faces dropped, and Ianto frowned in confusion.

"No, I was going to stay overnight. I thought that I mentioned that."

Rhiannon nodded, "You did, but I think it would be best if you went home tonight. You shouldn't leave these things Yanny. Go home, work things out, and then we can talk about that visit.

"But Rhi-" Ianto said, looking at the disappointed looks on the children's faces.

"No buts, it's for the best. Pluck up duckies, we'll see Uncle Ianto soon, he's not going to be away for so long like last time."

Both children looked up at him.

"Do you promise Uncle Ianto? You promise you won't be gone so long?" David asked softly.

Ianto kneeled down in front of them both, "I promise. I'll even call you both tomorrow once you're home from school. How does that sound?"

"Alright," Mica said.

They went with Ianto as he made his way to the door, passing through the living room.

"Johnny, Ianto has to head back to Cardiff tonight, so he won't be spending the night with us after all." Rhiannon informed her husband that was stretched out on the couch.

"Fine. Cheers Ianto." He replied, not bothering to move from the couch.

"Yeah, see you later Johnny."

Rhiannon and the kids followed Ianto to his car. Ianto hugged his sister first.

"Thank you, Rhi, for everything. And, I know I don't need to, but I'm required to ask that you don't tell anyone what we talked about today."

Rhiannon nodded, "I understand."

He hugged her again, "Thanks for the kick in the arse, I needed it. And Rhi, if you ever need anything, call me please."

The two siblings separated and Rhiannon nodded again, not trusting her voice. She knew it was the right thing to do, sending him some tonight. He needed to work things out with his mates, and she needed him out of the house. She knew that Johnny would be yelling at her for forgetting his beer, and he wouldn't do that when Ianto was there. If he had to wait an entire day, he would be much worse to deal with later.

Rhiannon cleared her throat, "Thanks Yanny, I love you brawd."

"I love you too chwaer."

Ianto knelt down in front of his niece and nephew. Mica immediately flew into his arms.

"I don't want you to go so soon!" She cried. "I want you to stay."

"I know Babi, but your Mam's right, I have some things I need to take care of in Cardiff. The sooner I do that, the sooner you can visit me."

The little girl pulled back, snuffling, but with a small smile.

"How soon?"

Ianto laughed.

"I don't know for sure lamb, but I hope no more than a month."

Mica nodded excitedly and stepped over to hold her mother's hand.

David latched on to Ianto tightly and Ianto felt tears on his neck.

"Hey Bach, there's no need to cry. I promise, no more than a month and I'll see you again. Alright?"

David nodded tearily.

"Remember what I always tell you?"

David nodded.

"Repeat it for me please."

"We should always remember that you love us, and that if we ever need you that we should call you right away, no matter what time it is. And that you will do everything you can to keep us safe."

Ianto leaned forward and kissed the boy's head again.

"That's right Bach," Ianto said, his voice a little rough with emotion. "And that goes for you too Babi."

"I know Ewythr Ianto."

"Alright, I guess I better head out, it's rush hour and the M4's going to be a nightmare."

"Be safe brawd." Rhiannon said as he got into his car.

"I will," he said before closing the door. "I'll ring you tomorrow afternoon."

He closed the door and started up the car, waving at the trio as he pulled away from the curb.

Ianto pulled onto the motorway and began to battle the evening traffic. He was glad to be going home; he already missed his mates, even after such a short amount of time apart. He wondered if they would be home yet.

Something was wrong though, he could feel it. He had an intense feeling that he shouldn't leave Rhi and the kids, but she insisted, and he felt that he didn't have much choice in the matter. Johnny would enjoy nothing more than throwing him out of the house.

As he drove, Ianto became increasingly agitated. His stomach was in knots and it was difficult to focus on the traffic around him. Traffic reached a standstill once he was about halfway back to Cardiff. He leaned his head back on the headrest, trying to focus and relax.

He was jolted out of his thoughts by his phone ringing.

He pressed the call button on his steering wheel to answer it.

"Hello?"

"Uncle Ianto!" Ianto heart plummeted as he heard his nephew's terrified whisper.

"What is it Bach, what's wrong?"

"You have to come back! You have to save us!" David frantically whispered.

Ianto had already turned his hazard lights on and was making his way as quickly as possible to the exit he saw a few meters ahead.

"What's going on Bach?" He asked urgently.

Then he heard his sister scream in the background and something crash, and his blood ran cold.

David was crying, but trying to stay quiet.

"Please Uncle Ianto. You've got to help Mam, he's hurting her!"

"Who's hurting Mam, David?"

"It's Da; he started yelling at her like he always does, but then he started hitting her. I grabbed Mica and hid and called you. Please come back Uncle Ianto, please!"

"I'm coming right now Bach, I'm on the way. Where are you and Mica?"

"We're hiding in the cupboard under the stairs like Harry Potter, Uncle Ianto. Da never opens it and we're hiding behind old coats and stuff."

"Good thinking Bach, I'm proud of you. Let me talk to your sister for a second."

He could hear David whisper, "Uncle Ianto wants to talk to you."

"Ewythr Ianto are you coming? I'm scared!"

"I know you are babi, I know. I'm coming right now as fast as I can."

Ianto finally made it to the off ramp and decided to take the inroads. He floored it, not caring if he got a ticket or twenty.

"Listen to me Mica, you're doing so well. I want you to listen to David and do exactly as he tells you, okay lamb?"

"Okay."

"Now, right now, I want you to stay right where you are. Make yourself small like you do when we play sardines. And you have to be very quiet alright."

"Okay, I promise." She whispered.

"That's a love. Now, let me talk to your brother again."

"Okay, hurry Ewythr Ianto."

"I'm here." David said.

"Alright Bach, for now stay right where you are, and keep quiet."

Ianto tried to tune out the yelling he could hear in the background so that he could focus on his nephew. He could hear the boy crying, trying desperately to remain silent.

Ianto knew that he wasn't going to make it in time; he was still ten minutes out, even with him driving like Jack. Ten minutes could be too late; he needed to get there faster. Where was Jack when he needed him? He always comes up with some insane idea in the heat of things.

Jack! That's it!

"Listen to me Bach; I want you to stay on the phone with me. You won't hear me for a few moments; I'm calling some friends to come help us. I'll only be quiet for a few moments and then I'll be back."

He heard David whimper, and it broke his heart.

"Please don't leave!"

"Bach, I'm not leaving you love. I swear. I've got to get help for Mam. I'm still on my way and I'll be talking to you again in just a moment, I promise."

David gave a shaky sigh, "Okay."

"Alright love, two ticks and I'll be back."

He switched over to another line and hit the speed dial for Jack.

"Hi Yan, we miss you already!"

"Jack," he said, struggling not to cry and the sound of his partner's voice.

"What's wrong Yan? Are you hurt? Talk to me!"

"It's not me-God! Jack, you've got to get to my sister's house right now. He's going to kill her, I just know it!"

"Whoa, whoa, Yan. What are you talking about? I thought you were at your sister's."

"I was but then she told me I should come back; but then David called me, completely frantic. Johnny is hurting her Jack and the kids are hiding under the stairs and I'm not going to get there in time to stop him! I need you to get there now!"

"Alright Yan, don't worry, we're leaving right now. Please be careful, we'll be there in seconds."

"Thank you Jack."

"I love you Yan, this is your family, our family. Just tell me one thing."

"What?"

"Do you want him alive when you get there?"

"I . . . if she's- if she's- God, I can't!"

"It's alright sweetheart, I understand. Drive safely, we'll meet you there."

The line went dead and he immediately switched back to David.

"Bach, it's me, I'm back."

"Un-uncle Ian-to, we're really scared!"

"I know Bach, my friends should be there any minute and I'm right behind them."

He heard the volume from the other room increasing. He heard his sister screaming again and more crashing.

"I'm five minutes away Bach, I'm almost there."

"Hurry, please!"

"I am, love, I am." Ianto said as he ran yet another red light.

Jack would not be happy if he reviewed the CCTV footage.

"Three minutes, Bach. I'm by your school right now."

"Okay. It's so loud, he won't stop yelling, and-"

Suddenly everything went quiet; all Ianto could hear was David's panicked breathing.

Then he heard footsteps close to where David and Mica were hiding.

David's breath hitched, and Ianto heard Mica whimper softly.

Then he heard the creak of the cabinet door opening, and Mica screaming just as he turned onto the street.

Chapter Text

Chapter 20 – Meetings and Discoveries

Newport, Wales, Earth, 2008, Davies Residence

"Shut up Mica!" Johnny yelled at the terrified little girl.

He grabbed her arm and jerked her roughly out of the cabinet, shoving her into the hallway. She fell against the corner of the wall, hitting her head on the way down. It hurt badly, but she was too afraid to cry.

"You little bastard!" Johnny stared down menacingly at David, who trembled in fear.

"Should have known that you weren't mine! You little prat, always prancing about with your nose in a book. I can't have you and your queer ways rubbing off on Mica. I'll beat you straight, you little nancy boy!"

He reached into the closet and grabbed David by the front of his shirt, shaking him violently. His head snapped back and forth, hitting the door frame several times.

Little David cried out as the man he knew as father continued to yell at him and shake him.

Johnny picked up David and tossed him into the hallway.

Mica screamed as David fell in front of her.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As Ianto rounded the corner onto his sister's street he could hear David screaming over the phone, crying for his father to stop.

His heart was pounding and his palms sweating as he tore down the residential street. He desperately wished that it wasn't such a bloody long street.

He cursed as Mica started screaming at her father. "No, Tad stop! You're hurting him! Stop, please!"

The sound of a hand connecting with flesh echoed down the line.

"Shut the hell up Mica, I'll do what I like to this little bastard! I'm not going to put up with any more shit from that fucker Williams' brat!"

Johnny drew back to hit the little boy again, and all of a sudden he was flying.

A large man in a blue coat seemed to come out of nowhere and tackled Johnny to the ground before beginning to pummel him.

Poor David lay on the ground shaking and crying.

A woman appeared at his side and gently touched his shoulder. David jumped in fright, trying to back away, but only managing to press himself into the wall. He noticed Mica a few feet away from him, sobbing in fear.

The woman knelt next to him, and he tried to focus on her as he heard his father swearing at the man he was trying to fight off.

"David, Mica," the woman said gently. "I'm your Uncle Ianto's friend, Siani, come with me alright. We're going to take care of you."

David looked at Mica and then at the pretty woman who was smiling at him and nodded his head. She swept down and picked him up, and then reached out to Mica who clung to her side. David buried his face in her neck, wishing that he would wake up and that this would all just be a bad dream. His back hurt and his head too, there was blood dripping into his eye and making it sting.

He was so scared, and he couldn't hear his Mam anymore.

Outside, Ianto came to a screeching halt, slamming the gear shift of his car into park. He tore open his glove compartment and pulled out his Torchwood issued firearm. Jumping out of the car, he ran towards the front door, paying no mind to the gawking neighbors. He could hear a loud crash and more yelling from inside the house.

Just as Siani reached the backdoor with the children, David saw his Uncle Ianto kick in the front door and enter the house with his gun drawn. David was sure in that moment that he was a superhero.

"Uncle Ianto!" David cried.

"Oh God!" Ianto said in horror.

He took in the scene around him, the living room was in shambles, furniture broken and overturned, things strewn about.

Siani had carefully made her way through the house, making sure to keep the children's gazes away from the kitchen where their mother lay on the floor, with Owen and the Doctor frantically working on her.

Ianto looked down the hallway to where Jack had Johnny pinned face-first to the floor holding his arms behind his back at rather painful angle, if Johnny's screams were anything to go by. Seeing that his love had things well in hand, Ianto choked down his own desire to beat his brother-in-law bloody, and instead quickly made his way over to Siani and the children and helped them out the back door. He looked back into the kitchen and saw that his sister seemed to be conscious and speaking lowly to Owen.

Ianto took David from Siani's arms once they were in the back garden and held him close, checking his injuries at the same time. He reached for Mica as well, but she seemed to have plastered herself to Siani's side, not willing to budge.

Ianto pulled out his handkerchief and used it to stem the flow of the blood from David's head wound and the cut on his brow. The children cried and clung to Ianto and Siani who struggled not to cry along with them.

From where she was sitting, Siani could see Owen bandaging up a disoriented Rhiannon, and gently helping her to roll to her side while he continued speaking to her.

The next hour or so passed in a blur. The local police showed up, one of whom was Rhys' brother. Apparently Rhys had demanded a phone from Tosh as soon as the others left, and he called his brother right away.

Jack had done a number on Johnny, so much so that he had to be taken to A&E before they could take him to jail. Jack made sure to let the police know just who they were and that Johnny was not to be allowed bail under any circumstance. He may have pulled the "take it up with the Queen" card.

Owen had gone with Rhiannon in the ambulance. The paramedics checked out the children and bandaged their cuts. David was clearly the worse of the two, but thankfully they found his injuries to be only superficial once it was determined that he had not sustained a concussion. They reluctantly conceded that the children's injuries would not require a trip to A&E, and since they were to be under Owen's care, they left them with Ianto and Siani.

After the police and paramedics left, Jack and the Doctor joined Ianto, Siani, and the children in the back garden. The children had finally calmed down some, Mica eventually falling asleep in Siani's arms.

"Oh Jack." Ianto said when he saw his mate.

Jack had taken a punch to the face, resulting in a nice shiner; his knuckles were swollen and raw. He merely shrugged and knelt down next to his mates who sat with the children on a low wall.

The Doctor stayed back allowing the family some private time.

Jack gently placed a hand on David's back and the boy looked up from where he was cradled against his Uncle's chest.

"Are you Jack?" David asked softly.

"I am." Jack smiled warmly at the bruised little boy.

"Thank you. Uncle Ianto said you would help us and you did."

Jack choked back his tears as the boy looked at him so gravely before looking up at his Uncle. He could clearly see the adoration on David's face when he looked at Ianto.

"You're very welcome David; we both know that your Uncle Ianto's always right."

David nodded his head solemnly before looking at Ianto once more. He pulled on Ianto's jumper, indicating the he should lean down.

When Ianto did, David began to whisper in his ear. Jack watched on as a smile grew on Ianto's face. Ianto leaned back to look at David and nodded, whispering back in David's ear.

The next thing Jack knew, he had his arms full of nine year old, and he plopped down onto the ground. He chuckled softly as he hugged David back.

"Uncle Ianto said that you're Uncle Jack, and she's Auntie Siani." Siani and Jack looked at Ianto, a little surprised.

Jack smiled down at David, "Ah, yes, I suppose we are."

"Good," David said. "I've never had an Auntie before though, only Uncle Ianto."

"I understand, but I think you'll like her." Jack replied. "And, she's really pretty too. Don't you think?"

David glanced up at Siani shyly, and immediately buried his head in Jack's neck when she smiled at him. They all saw him nod his head.

The Doctor smiled at them, glad that he got to witness the aftermath of a crisis for once, maybe he should stick around longer in the future. He quietly walked over to the others so as not to disturb Mica as she continued to sleep.

"I'm going to take the TARDIS back to the Hub. I'll stay and help out Tosh if she's needs it, you all stay and focus on your family."

"Thank you Doctor, I appreciate your help today." Ianto said.

"Think nothing of it; I'm just glad I could be here. I'll let the others know what's happened."

"Alright Doc, thanks." Jack said. "We should probably head to the hospital, Owen text to say that Rhiannon is in a room now. They want to keep her overnight for observation, but she's going to be fine."

Jack felt David almost collapse in relief against him, and the little boy began to cry quietly.

Standing up, Ianto reached down and helped lift Jack and David from the ground. He took David from Jack and held the boy close as he cried.

Siani stood as well, and Mica woke from the movement, crying out slightly.

"Shh, Mica. It's all right." Siani soothed the little girl.

"Where's Ewythr Ianto?" She sniffled.

Siani turned slightly so that Mica could see Ianto standing next to her.

"He's right here, see. Now let's go and pick out some jim-jams to take with us alright? We're going to go stay with your Mam."

"Where is she?"

"She's in hospital, lamb." Ianto told her. "The doctors say that she needs to stay there tonight so that they can make her feel better; so we're all going to stay with her so that she doesn't have to be alone."

"Alright," Mica said, now more awake and aware of her surroundings. "Ewythr Ianto, who are they?"

Ianto smiled at his niece, and leaned over to kiss her forehead.

"They, my anwylaf, are the Doctor," Ianto explained, pointing to each of them in turn; "your Uncle Jack, and your Auntie Siani."

Mica looked at all of them, the Doctor waved at her and she smiled. Uncle Jack smiled, which made her blush, he's very handsome. Then she looked up at the woman Uncle Ianto said was her Auntie, she quite liked her.

Mica squeezed Siani's neck and kissed her cheek.

"Okay Auntie Siani, I'll show you my favorite jammies. Can I take Bear with me?"

Ianto smiled as he watched the pair make their way back into the house. He saw how Siani shielded the little girl's view from the destruction, walking quickly through the living room.

Jack stood next to Ianto and David.

"Uncle Ianto, can I bring my Harry Potter book, and will you read it to me?"

"Of course David, let's go with Uncle Jack and get your things together, and then we'll see about a story once we're at hospital with Mam."

"Alright."

"I'll see you all tomorrow." The Doctor said before he walked into the TARDIS.

The three turned and watched him leave. Jack and Ianto smiled as David looked on in awe as the blue box he hadn't noticed before disappeared with a strange sound.

"Whoa." David said, eyes wide in wonderment.

"Whoa indeed. Come on Bach, let's go see Mam."

Jack wrapped his arm around Ianto's waist as he carried David back into the house, hoping that this tragedy would eventually turn out for the best.

 

Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008

Gwen Cooper leaned back against the hood of her car atop a familiar Cardiff rooftop.

He was late. She hated it when a man kept her waiting, it was just backward.

As she impatiently waited, she thought back over the last couple of days. She felt a bit guilty about Rhys. Jack's horrid treatment of her had made her completely forget about Rhys until after she got home and he was not there waiting dinner on her.

To be fair she did try to call him several times, but he wasn't answering her calls. That really pissed her off and she wondered if the others were keeping him from talking to her. She would find out soon enough, they couldn't hide him away forever.

Gwen turned her thoughts to her most pressing problem, getting rid of Jack's wife and the Tea-Boy.

She hated Hart, especially once she realized what his relationship with Jack had once been, but he was necessary to her plan. It should be easy enough to get him to take her out, it was doubtful that he'd need much convincing.

Once that's taken care of I can focus on getting rid of Ianto permanently. I wasn't going to, but it would be better to arrange some sort of accident for him. Yes, that's much better, and then he'll be out of the picture for good and who will Jack have to turn to for comfort but me.

That decided, she was left with one final problem, what to do about Hart once it was all over with. Somehow she had to figure out a way to frame him for Ianto's "accident" and at the same time make sure that he didn't expose her involvement.

She knew that Jack didn't trust him, and that would work in her favor. After all, once the obstacles were removed he would be free to be with her the way she knew he really wanted to be.

For the first time since she stormed out of the Hub the day before, things were looking up for Gwen Cooper. Before long she would have everything she had ever wanted, and Jack had given her the time off to make it happen.

Maybe he realizes that and wants me to save him!

She was so wrapped up in her thoughts that she did not immediately notice the yellow light steadily appearing across the roof.

"Of all the rooftops, on all the planets, in all the galaxies, you had to walk onto mine!"

Gwen cringed at the smarmy and misquoted line from the man who came out of the light.

"Vera."

John nodded in return.

"You're late."

"Well, time differentials and all that, you know how it is. Now, what's this about Jackie-boy and a wife?" John saying, falling back into the role he had played during their previous interaction.

"An alien calling himself 'The Doctor' showed up several days ago with a woman that Jack says is his wife. She's supposedly from the future."

"Name?"

"What?" Gwen asked, thrown for a moment by the interruption.

"What is her name?"

John worked very hard to not roll his eyes; this woman was a first-class twit.

"Oh, Siani something or other."

Gwen gave a dismissive gesture with her hand and continued with her big sell. She leaned back against her car in a calculated move that she knew maximized her best assets.

"Anyway, I don't buy it. All of a sudden this alien, who is apparently the enemy of Torchwood, just shows up out of the blue with some strange woman?" Gwen shook her head. "I think it's all some kind of plot against Jack."

John remained silent while Gwen made her schpeel; of course she had no way of knowing that he was also using a device to read her thoughts at the same time. He repressed the rage rising inside of him, and listened as she thought of her plan to kill his sister and her mate, and then take Jack for herself.

"-really must be done. Don't you agree?" Gwen pressed with a wide-eyed expression.

He thought quickly, scanning her thoughts for the question she had just asked.

"You may be on to something. It does seem strange that this Doctor would show up unannounced with a woman Jack thought to be long-dead. I'll need to do some checking on my own."

John sauntered over to Gwen until he was pressed against her, using every ounce of his not inconsiderable acting ability.

"Make no mistake sweetheart, I don't care who this woman is, Jack is mine and no one will stop me from having him." He said, laying on the "Captain John Hart" as thick as possible.

It was all he could do not to gag when he sensed her arousal and heard the thoughts running through her head. Instead he just leered at her before dragging his body across hers as he stood, the things he did for family!

"Of course." Gwen said in a placating tone. "I'm just looking out for him after all. We'll have plenty of time to investigate; I can't get back into the Hub for four weeks."

"Wait, you don't have access to Torchwood?"

John wanted to laugh, he already knew that she was suspended, but he was interested to see how she spun this one.

"No, I don't. That woman has turned Jack against me, and she's got to the rest of them too somehow! I'm worried that she might do something to Jack, but don't worry, I already plan to watch them."

He let himself roll his eyes this time.

"Sorry doe-eyes, but why don't you leave the surveillance to me?"

"I don't-"

"Listen, I've been doing this awhile, and I don't have anyone that's going to notice me being out at all hours. Besides, this will free you up to finish planning."

Gwen thought about it for a moment; she wanted to be the one watching them, she didn't want to give Hart a chance to get to Jack. But he did have a point; once Rhys came home she would have to play the attentive fiancée. She couldn't let him get suspicious; she would just have to keep a tight rein on Hart.

"Fine. You watch them and I'll figure out how to get rid of the problem. You can't let them see you under any circumstance though."

John gave her an incredulous look. "This isn't my first time sweetheart, believe me, I know my way around Jack Harkness, and in him, on top of him, just about any way you can think of; he'll never know I'm there."

Gwen seethed internally at Hart's remarks about her Jack. She was definitely going to have to kill him after this was done.

"Right, I need to go, I've been here long enough. You know how to contact me; I'll expect to hear from you within the week."

"Certainly, do give my regards to that man of yours won't you?" John leered at her.

Gwen scowled at him and got into her car, driving away without a backward glance.

John gave into the urge and allowed himself a shake, trying to get rid of the sickly sensation of her thoughts and touch. He looked up to the top of the light post across the rooftop.

"Did you get all of that?"

A light flashed in confirmation.

"Good, I'll see you shortly, and then I need a shower."

Miles away Tosh sat behind her computer terminal shaking with rage. The Doctor placed a hand on her shoulder to comfort her, but he was also struggling to control himself. He had been hoping that Jack would be lenient with his punishment of Miss Cooper up to this point, now, he would raise no objections to whatever actions Jack decided to take.

Hart appeared in the Hub near Tosh's station, setting off the intruder alarm which Tosh quickly disabled.

"Really, you would think that you didn't want me to visit!" John said with an impish grin.

Tosh rolled her eyes. She was trying to keep an open mind and not reach for her gun. Siani insisted that Captain John Hart was merely a persona her brother had adopted to complete a job, and that he was actually a kind and decent person. Though she did receive ample warning that he had a mischievous streak that made Jack look tame in comparison.

"Hart."

"John, please. It's good to see you again Toshiko, and under somewhat better circumstances. Please allow me to apologize for my behavior when I was here last. The people I was working against were watching me, so I had to make it believable. I'm sorry for locking you and Owen in that supply room."

"I understand, Jack explained to us what really happened. Honestly, it may take a while before the urge to shoot you goes away, but I promise not to shoot unless you give me reason to do so." Tosh replied with a wry grin.

John laughed; it was a rich, melodic laugh that for some reason set Tosh's pulse racing. Granted, she had thought that he was gorgeous from the moment she first laid eyes on him, but the whole thinking he was a psychopath thing had put a bit of a damper on any type of regard.

"I'll have you know that I have it on good authority that the urge to shoot me never quite goes away."

"Oh really, and who says that?"

"My sister." John said with a smile. "Speaking of other gorgeous brunettes besides yourself, and the Doctor here, who I've failed to introduced myself to, my apologies Doctor."

The Doctor waved off his apology and accepted his handshake, eager to get to know this man. He had a fascinating mind.

"Where are my sister, Jack, and Ianto?"

John looked around the Hub, hoping that they would appear. He needed to see his sister desperately, needed to feel that she was real.

He noticed the troubled looks pass over the Doctor and Tosh's faces.

"What is it? Is something wrong? Where are they?" John asked, panic creeping into his voice.

Tosh stepped toward him and placed a hand on his arm to calm him.

Both John and Tosh gasped as a wild sensation rushed through both of their bodies. It was hard to describe; it was like a fire, and lightning, and something comforting and soft all at the same time.

John stared at Tosh, who returned his gaze with equal shock. He had found her! After all these long, lonely years of watching others find their soulmates, here she was!

They both continued to stare, mouths agape. John finally snapped out of his shocked state and reached forward to hold Tosh's face between his hands.

The Doctor watched with a wide grin upon his face, he loved happy endings, or in this case, beginnings! It had been a very long time since he had the privilege of witnessing a bond discovery, it was always a beautiful thing to behold, and it made both of his hearts ache in loneliness. And then, for a moment he thought he heard the sound of a wolf howling in the distance. He shook his head and focused back on the new couple, this was no time to dwell on things that were lost.

John leaned down and rested his forehead against Tosh's.

"Saiai kon'nichiwa."

Tosh's mind was running at lightning speed, recalling everything that Jack and Siani had described about bonds.

Oh my god! I have a soulmate! I have someone who wants me, me! And he's hot!

Calming herself, and her inner teenager, Tosh sighed and said, "Watashi no ai kon'nichiwa."

John smiled widely, looking very much like his sister in that moment.

"We will continue this sweetness," John said as he gazed into Tosh's eyes. He reluctantly pulled back and straightened, though his arms fell to encircle Tosh's shoulders.

"Um, okay. Now, can you tell me where my family is?" John asked, trying very hard to concentrate on finding his sister and brothers-in-law, and not his beautiful unclaimed mate beside him.

Looking up at John from within his embrace, Tosh answered.

"There was . . . an incident," she said, glancing over to the Doctor.

"What do you mean? Are they alright?"

"They are, yes, well mostly."

Chapter Text

Chapter 21 – Internal Influence

Torchwood

Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008

The Doctor saw how agitated John became due to their delay, so he hurried to explain.

"Earlier today, Ianto traveled to Newport to visit his sister, Rhiannon. He was planning to stay overnight, but his sister convinced him to return to Cardiff instead. While he was on his way back here his young nephew called in a panic. His father was beating his mother, and the children were hiding in the hall cupboard, scared out of their wits. Long story short, Ianto called us since he was too far away. We left immediately, Jack stopped Mr. Davies as he had moved on to hurting young David. Mr. Davies is now in jail awaiting trial. Ianto, Siani, and Jack are at the hospital in Newport with Ianto's sister and her children. They're going to keep her overnight for observation, but they should be back by noon tomorrow."

"Goddess!" John exclaimed. "I hope Jack laid him out!"

"Oh he did, trust me. If the children weren't there, he might have done more than that."

"Good for Jack." He squeezed Tosh, unable to comprehend how a man could ever hurt that which should be most precious to him.

"Yes indeed. As it stands, they'll be bringing Mrs. Davies and her children back with them, so it should be a full house with all of us there. Speaking of which, whenever you're ready, Jack has asked that I take you to the house."

John nodded reluctantly, looking down at Tosh.

"Go ahead," Tosh said, returning his gaze. "We can talk tomorrow before the others get back, rift willing of course.

"I-" John was torn, now that he knew that the stunning little tech was his mate, he didn't want to leave her.

Tosh took a step away from him, but kept hold of his hand.

"It's alright. I've got a few things to finish up before I head home for the night. Owen's staying here with Rhys again tonight. I'll see you in the morning." She smiled up at the man that she was apparently destined for; maybe this is why she never seemed to be able to find anyone else.

John reached up with his free hand and cupped her cheek, gently stroking it with his thumb.

"There are so many things I need to tell you, so much I want to share with you; but you are right, we'll talk tomorrow. I want to do this right, but I need to help my family. Will you- I mean, could you-"

Tosh placed her hand on his mouth to silence his rambling.

"I understand; we'll take our time. Right now our priority needs to be helping Ianto, Jack, and Siani; after all, I guess this means that they'll be my family too."

Tosh smiled at him shyly, hoping that he wouldn't be offended by her making such a statement.

John's heart thundered against his ribs due to her easy acceptance of him, his family, and the insanity that seemed to personify their lives. She was everything he had prayed for and more, and she already loved his family. Tosh didn't realize it yet, but she had just given him the greatest gift; family was absolutely everything to the Astaldereas.

He released her hand and brought his hand up to join the other in holding her face. John held her gaze for several moments, before finally realizing that he was behaving like one of those addlepated twits from the trashy novels his baby sister, Malanar, used to read before- Well, anyway, he decided that it was high time to quit pissing about and learn from Jack.

So he kissed her.

And kissed her.

And kissed her some more.

The Doctor cleared his throat uncomfortably, but got no response.

He rolled his eyes at the pair, though he couldn't help but smile.

"What the bloody hell?!"

Tosh jumped a bit at Owen's exclamation; he had finally come out of the medbay where he had dozed off earlier, exhausted from his several days stay in the Hub. However, it wasn't enough to motivate Tosh to end what was far and away the greatest kiss of her life to date.

"Okay, what's going on here?" Owen asked the Doctor; as the only other person in the room not engaged in sucking another person's face off at the moment, he seemed the logical choice.

"Oh that. Well, it just so happens that these two . . . canoodlers, are in fact soul mates. Just found out, rather romantic really; I am hoping that they wrap things up soon though, there was some rubbish program on the telly that I was planning to watch tonight."

Owen stood there for a moment, trying to process this new development.

"Well fuck me! I'm going back to my cot; tell Tosh not to wake me when she leaves."

Owen shook his head, turned around, and plodded back down the medbay stairs.

Eventually the couple came up for air, and thankfully, at least the Doctor was thankful, they were stilled dressed, well, mostly.

Tosh and John looked at each other, panting and trying to catch their breath, before breaking out into rather idiotic looking grins. They leaned back in to start up again when the Doctor interrupted them.

"Yes, lovely. Now that you've sorted that it's time we were on our way. Allons-y Siani's baby brother!"

The Doctor started toward the exit, clearly expecting John to follow.

"He's going to keep calling me that isn't he?" John said with an annoyed expression on his face.

Tosh giggled and buried her head in his chest.

"I can't believe we just did that! And yes, he is going to call you that. You better go; he's rather impatient if you make him late for Britain's Got Talent. Word to the wise, he'll tell you it's rubbish, but don't interfere with him watching it; he secretly loves it."

"I heard that!"

John grinned and leaned down for one more quick kiss before reluctantly pulling away.

"Point taken. Anything else I should know?"

"Um, don't ever give him aspirin and make sure that there are bananas and milk, or else he'll have you up in the middle of the night going to the market for them. Trust me; I heard enough about it from Ianto."

"Good to know. I'll see you in the morning watashi no utsukushi-sa."

"Good night."

John turned to wave as he and the Doctor left, only to get dragged down the tunnel by the Doctor.

Tosh laughed, and sat down heavily in her chair. She was having one of those surreal, out-of-body experiences; her entire life had just been turned on end, and she couldn't be happier!

After trying and failing to focus for the next ten minutes, Tosh decided to leave the extra work she was going to do for tomorrow. She shut down her computers and made her way as quietly as possible out of the Hub for the night.

Walking along the Plass to her car, Tosh took in the crisp sea air and the familiar sights and sounds of a Cardiff evening. She wondered at how such an amazing change could occur on such an ordinary night. Surely the skies should be ablaze with fireworks, or something equally celebratory. Tosh could only wonder what changes tomorrow would bring.

 

Williams/Cooper Flat

Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008

Across town, Gwen was lying awake in bed, unable to sleep. Once again, she couldn't get the thoughts in her mind to stop. Ever since she was a little girl, she had felt like she wasn't alone in her own mind.

She never told anyone of course; that kind of talk would have ended up with her being sectioned without a doubt.

She wasn't crazy though, she wasn't!

Over the years she had done some research into her family tree. It seemed that several women in her family had experienced some form of precognition or other. Gwen didn't have visions of the future or any such nonsense, but she did hear voices, or rather one voice.

It was always the same, ever since she was a child. She remembered the first time she heard it; she was only five or six at the time. Her parents were not nearly as well-off as they are today, and they lived just a row over from that creepy old pub everyone always talked about being haunted.

The voice talked to her, told her how lovely she was, that the other children were just jealous of her and that's why they didn't care to be friends. She knew that the voice was telling her the truth; after all, there couldn't possibly be any other reason for those little twerps to avoid her.

From that day on, the voice was her constant companion, always encouraging and guiding her. She thought for some time that it might be some kind of guardian angel or an imaginary friend like the one her Mum said that she had as a girl.

Most of the time the voice was quiet, and really didn't give her much direction; Gwen Cooper always got what she wanted, what she deserved, that's just how life worked. Just like that time in Uni when Rhys' girlfriend had come for a visit. Gwen had set her to rights! Sure she had lied about being pregnant and about being with Rhys, but she had decided that she wanted Rhys Williams, and she wasn't about to let some chav from Newport get in the way of that. Rhys was going to be her safety net, the reliable idiot that would keep her mother off her back about settling down.

Lately however, the voice, Syriath, she called herself, had taken on a more active role in influencing Gwen's mind. Gwen wanted Jack of course, wanted him more than anything, but she wasn't a killer, and she found it increasingly difficult to go along with the horrible plans given to her by the voice.

The more time that passed, the more Gwen began to fear the voice inside her head as it urged her to say and do things that she was beginning to question.

She wanted to go to Jack, to ask for his help. Gwen hated his wife, without a doubt, but she didn't want to kill her, and she especially didn't want to kill Ianto. She may not have much use for her countryman, but he had never done anything to intentionally hurt her.

She was going to do it; she was going to call Jack. He wouldn't want to talk with her, but she knew that there was something wrong and that she needed his help.

Gwen reached for her phone and began to dial Jack's mobile, but a sharp, blinding pain erupted in her head. She cried out in agony and fell back on the bed, writhing in pain.

I told you what would happen if you ever told anyone! Why would you do such a thing when I've been with you all of your life? I've given you everything you've ever wanted, and this is how you repay me!

No! Please, please no! I don't want to do this anymore. I don't want to hurt them! Please, just leave me alone!

Well that's just not part of the plan you see. You owe me Gwen Cooper, and I'm calling in the debt.

Gwen screamed as the pain in her head began to radiate throughout her body, each wave of sensation more painful than the next. Finally, after several minutes, she found relief in unconsciousness and the voice swiftly went to work.

Syriath removed this latest encounter from the girl's memory. She would have to make her move soon; this child was getting to be too much of a hassle, suddenly deciding to grow a conscience.

I own you Gwen Cooper. You were such a spoiled little girl with such an enormous ego, and you thought that the world should simply fall down at your feet; I have given that little brat everything her rotten little heart desired. I'm even going to let you keep that Captain, after I'm done with him of course. Just remember little girl, you do as you're told, and all your dreams will come true.

Chapter Text

Chapter 22 – Turning Points

Royal Gwent Hospital Newport, Wales, Earth, 2008

Jack sat in an uncomfortable orange chair at the foot of Rhiannon's hospital bed as she, Ianto, Siani, and the children slept. He listened to the sounds of beeping monitors and the hushed movements of the medical staff. Jack knew that he shouldn't, but he couldn't help feeling that he had failed them somehow, this rapidly expanding family of his.

Realistically he knew that it was unreasonable for him to feel this way; he had never even met Ianto's family until today. However, in his heart he had claimed them, and therefore felt responsible for their well-being.

Siani and Ianto had tried to get him to lie down for a while earlier in the evening, but he insisted that they should take the opportunity to rest since the children were finally sleeping. He had tucked them all in, despite vigorous eye-rolling from Ianto. Siani and Mica were snuggled together on the cot the hospital had provided, while David was wrapped around Ianto like an orangutan in the reclining chair next to Rhiannon's bed. And so Jack sat, facing the doorway, guarding his little family.

Jack's thoughts were a whirl of questions, and plans, and possibilities. He planned out their journey home, and getting Rhiannon and the kids settled with them. He was really looking forward to having Carad around; he may be a handful, but Jack couldn't think of anyone else he would rather have guarding his family's back.

That brought Jack back to the problems they currently faced. Johnny Davies was in jail for the time being, but Jack knew that he would be released eventually. He would come after Rhiannon and the kids, of that Jack was certain. Jack had already spoken at length with the hospital administration and the police force regarding their safety. Johnny's brother was a PC here in Newport, and Rhys' brother, Gavin, had already warned Jack that he was likely to try something. Apparently the Davies boys were short on brains, and thought themselves above the law.

Arranging an unfortunate accident for Johnny seemed like the best idea, though Jack wouldn't mind finishing what he started that afternoon. Ianto would not be happy about the paperwork that said accident would generate; Jack would just have to make it up to him. There was also the issue of Lizzy, Her Majesty was not keen on Jack using Torchwood, and by extension Herself for personal matters. He'd have Ianto ask; She loves Ianto.

Second was the issue of Rhiannon and Rhys, which was definitely more complicated. He expected that they would be thrown together quite a lot due to recent developments. Well, most of that was out of his hands anyway; he would just make sure that Rhys understood exactly how many ways they could kill him, not to mention all the ways that Ianto could make the body disappear. He really had a unique talent for that, and Jack should not find that sexy, he really shouldn't.

And then there was Gwen. Jack sighed, a bit too loudly apparently, since David shifted and whimpered in his sleep, dropping his bear in the process. He had just risen from his chair to pick it up when Ianto stirred and slowly opened his eyes; he smiled sleepily at Jack and took the bear from him. Ianto carefully stood up with David and placed the boy back down in the reclined chair, tucking the blanket around him and his bear.

Jack watched him quiet his nephew, and couldn't help but dream of him one day doing the same for their children. Ianto looked up and met his gaze, smiling once he noticed Jack watching him. Ianto looked around the room, checking that all the other occupants were still asleep before gesturing to Jack to follow him outside. The two men quietly slipped out of the room and closed the door softly behind them.

"Is everything alright?" Ianto asked softly, followed by a yawn. He ran his hand through his disheveled hair, leaving it even more unruly.

Jack smiled, and reached up to smooth down Ianto's curls.

"Yeah," Jack replied, dropping his hand and leaning his left shoulder against the wall.

"I was just thinking about all the things that need to be done once we return."

"Oh, do you need to head back now? Did something happen at the Hub?" Ianto asked, feeling slightly resentful that Torchwood once again had priority.

"No, nothing like that," Jack replied while he reached over and took Ianto's hand.

"I was thinking about what we need to do to get Rhiannon and the kids settled at the house, what they might need. Then that got me thinking about Rhys, I'm not sure how to handle that situation to be honest. I want to help him, but Rhi and the kids, they're family you know, so I guess we'll just have to wait to see what Rhi decides to do."

Ianto listened to Jack with a look of disbelief on his face, feeling guilty that he had once again thought the worst and just assumed that Jack was talking about work.

"What? What is it?" Jack asked, confused by Ianto's expression.

"You." Ianto said, a smile slowly forming on his face. He leaned forward and laced the fingers of his left hand through those of Jack's right.

"Me?" Jack asked, fidgeting a little under Ianto's intense gaze.

"Yes, you," Ianto said while releasing Jack's hand and reaching up to cup the sides of his face. "You infuriating, beautiful, amazing man."

Ianto pulled Jack to him and kissed him hard, trying to convey all the love he felt for him through his kiss. He took the opportunity to breathe in that scent that was uniquely Jack, and to relish the taste of his lips; he had missed them during their brief time apart. Finally, they had to pull back, the mundane need for air interrupting once again.

"Wow!" Jack said breathlessly. "Tell me what I said or did to earn that, so that I can remember to do it again!"

Ianto grinned at Jack, and ran his hands across his broad shoulders, smoothing down the lapels of his greatcoat.

"I think that I have a problem Jack." Ianto said, causing the playful smile on Jack's face to fall into a frown of concern.

"What's wrong?" He asked, reaching up to grasp Ianto's shoulder.

Ianto continued to smile.

"I have a problem with dwelling on the bad things that have happened and letting them affect what's happening right now. I'd like to blame it on being Welsh, but that would be taking the easy path. That's something my sister helped me to realize, and it's what Siani was trying to beat into my head, I think."

Jack and Ianto both grinned at that.

Ianto pulled back, breaking Jack's hold gently; he leaned back against the drab hospital wall. Jack did the same, standing closely so that their shoulders touched.

"So many things in my life have not turned out for the best Jack, so it's become easier for me to expect that they will continue to do so. But I realize now that I don't want to go through life like that, always expecting the other boot to drop. And I don't want to hold on to feelings of anger and hurt from things that might have happened, but never did."

Jack watched Ianto's face as his eyes began to cloud with tears.

"Yan, it's-"

"No, no Jack; it's not alright. I was being really unfair to you; you were doing what I'd asked, you were being honest. And then I turned around and railed at you for something you didn't even do. I was wrong, and I'm so very sorry. I want this to work Jack, more than anything; and so I'm going to do my best not to always think the worst. I might need reminding a time or two mind you, but I know that it's worth it, you're worth it."

Jack chuckled through his tears.

"This is a hell of a time for this discussion," Jack said as he turned and pulled Ianto into his arms.

They held each other for several moments, before breaking apart and trying to compose themselves as two curious nurses walked past.

"Well, that's a first," Ianto said with a grin.

"How's that?"

"Two nurses just walked passed, and not a joke to be found! Are you feeling alright?"

Jack laughed and put his arm around Ianto's shoulders as the door to Rhiannon's room creaked open to reveal a blurry-eyed Siani.

"There you are. Is everything alright?" Siani asked, becoming more alert as she noticed the teary eyes of both men.

"Yep, things are good," Ianto replied. "My head is back where it should be."

"That's good," she said with a grin as she slipped out the door and closed it behind her.

"I can think of several much more enjoyable uses for your bum."

All three chuckled as Ianto drew Siani into his arms.

"Are the kids still asleep?"

"Yes, they're both in R.E.M. at the moment, and I think that Rhiannon will need more pain medication soon."

"How on earth do you know these things?" Ianto asked.

Jack grinned cheekily. "I'm cursed to go through life with two know-it-alls!"

He was met with two identical, "we are not amused" expressions.

"Ooo sexy!" Jack said as he turned and pulled both of them into a three-way embrace.

"Have you two been practicing that in the mirror when I wasn't looking?"

Siani and Ianto replied with identical eye rolls, which caused Jack to burst out laughing. He had to hide his face in Siani's shoulder to muffle the sound; but he stopped abruptly when he felt Siani tense and shift beneath him.

Down the hallway, at the Nurse's Station, stood Johnny's brother in his police uniform. The nurse, who had previously been instructed not to let anyone know the location of Rhiannon and her children, was pointing in their direction and giving him the room number. The man smiled at her before turning, his expression dropping into a grimace when he noticed the three in the hall.

"I'll deal with this," Jack said quietly. "Ianto, I need you to stay here with Rhi and the kids; Siani, go find the head nurse, please. She has a patient who needs medication, and a nurse to fire."

Jack strode down the hall toward Johnny's brother. It was about to get interesting at the Royal Gwent.

Siani leaned into Ianto's side.

"Is it just me, or is he even hotter when he starts throwing orders about?"

"Oh, it's not just you annwyl, not at all. We best get to our tasks, the Captain has spoken."

Siani giggled.

"You know, if I wasn't ready to dismember his entire family, I'd almost feel sorry for the idiot."

They both turned back just as Jack disarmed Darryn Davies, who had tried draw his stun-gun, and slammed him against the wall next to the Nurse's Station, securing him with his own handcuffs.

Ianto grinned.

"Oh trust me, that tosser's had it coming for years."

Ianto gave Siani a quick kiss before they both turned to go about their assigned duties.

Walking off to find the nurse, Siani grinned as she heard Jack yelling at the Chief Inspector of the Newport Constabulary on the phone.

This was something she had desperately missed; life with Jack Harkness was never, ever dull.

Torchwood Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008, 9:12 a.m.

Owen groggily stumbled up the medbay stairs, hoping against hope that there would be caffeine waiting. He tripped on the top step, causing Rhys to laugh from his seat below.

Overly chipper bastard! Owen thought as he flipped the man off for good measure.

Owen groaned once he stepped into the main hub. Hart was draped over Tosh like a blanket as she worked at her computers, giggling like a teenager at the man. Neither of them paid him any mind. The Doctor was up in Myfanwy's nest, talking animatedly to the pteranodon. Thankfully Tosh had bought coffee that morning on her way to work. Owen grabbed his and collapsed into his desk chair, drinking half the large cup before bothering to open his eyes again.

He sat there, drinking his coffee and watching the new couple for a while. Owen worked hard to convince everyone, himself included, that he thought love and romance to be nothing more than a parlor trick; that it was an unnecessary complication to good old-fashioned shagging. He knew that he was full of shit; he knew because of Diane, and even more so because of Katie.

Watching Tosh look at Hart like that, like he was the most incredible thing she had ever encountered, took him back to his days with Katie. He had been the biggest sap, a walking rom-com for that woman; and then she was gone, snatched away from him well before her time.

Owen shook away those thoughts, it was a bit early for something harder to drink, even by his standards, and that's exactly where he would end up if he dwelt on them for too long. He was happy for Tosh and Ianto, and even Jack, really he was; but their growing happiness only served to highlight the crushing loneliness that threatened to consume him on a daily basis.

His black thoughts were interrupted as Rhys joined him, taking the chair at Ianto's station.

"So," the Welshman began as he reached over and snagged the last coffee. "That's Jack's brother-in-law?"

Owen merely grunted in reply.

"How long has that been going on then?" Rhys asked while gesturing toward the couple.

"Since yesterday."

Rhys raised an eyebrow in surprise, "Really? They seem really . . . I don't know, intimate."

Owen looked at Rhys, noting the slight wistfulness in his gaze.

"Yeah, well apparently they're soulmates or something. More of that 51st Century biology crap that for some reason I'm just now learning. You'd think as the Chief Medical Officer around here I should be told about these things, but of course it was another one of Harkness' bloody secrets, until his wife arrived."

"Yeah, well, I know all about people keeping secrets around here, I can tell you that!" Rhys grumbled.

Owen flinched slightly, a reflex considering how Rhys had recently expressed his displeasure toward him about their secrets.

He looked down, uncomfortable with the direction of the conversation.

"Listen mate-"

Rhys held up his hand, "No, don't worry about it. We already went down that road, it's passed now. I'm just- shite, I'm just so bloody tired of secrets and wondering what else about my life is a lie."

Owen nodded, not quite sure what, if anything, he should say. Thankfully he was interrupted by the Doctor's conversation with Myfanwy.

"You did not! I don't believe it!" The Pteranodon chirped at the Time Lord.

"Oh that's too funny, I've got to tell Jack! But that doesn't explain the sheep though; your species ate mostly fish."

The Doctor continued to loudly converse with the prehistoric mascot, though his exclamation did serve to remind Tosh and John that they were in fact not alone in the Hub.

"Oh will you look at that Tosh, people!" John said with a grin.

Owen had to admit that he was a handsome bloke, but that look of pure happiness on his face just seemed wrong considering their previous interactions.

Tosh laughed and smiled at John, her mate was lethally charming; she wasn't sure how she would be able to focus on her work with him around all the time. Not that she was complaining about that!

John dropped a kiss on Tosh's head before stepping toward the two men. He held out his hand toward Owen.

"Owen, I'd like to apologize for how I acted when I was here last. Unfortunately I was undercover at the time and that required me to do and say some things that I never would have otherwise. Regardless of that though, I am sorry."

Owen considered making a typically snarky reply, but it seemed that John would be sticking around for the foreseeable future. No use screwing that up before it started, not to mention the fact that he was pretty sure that Siani would skin him alive if he was mean to her baby brother.

He stood up and took John's hand, shaking it firmly.

"I get it mate, Jack and Siani explained a bit about the work you were doing. I hope you plan on sticking around for a while, there's definitely enough shite going on around here to keep you busy for a long time yet."

John nodded, "Oh, I'm here indefinitely. I have no plans to leave any time soon."

Owen saw Tosh's shoulders slump in relief. She had tensed up when he mentioned John leaving.

Turning to the other man, John introduced himself.

"John Hart, pleased to meet you."

Rhys nodded and shook his hand. "Rhys Williams."

"Oh, you're-" John stopped, looking a bit uncomfortable with what his was about to say.

Rhys frowned. "Yeah, I'm the one with Gwen, well was anyway."

"Does she know that?" John asked while dragging another chair over to sit with the men.

He needed something to occupy himself; he knew that his pint-sized mate had patiently endured his constant interruptions all morning, but he didn't want her to get fed up with him already.

"No," Rhys replied tensely. "She doesn't know it yet, but hopefully she will soon."

"Hopefully?" Owen asked; he had figured that Rhys would waste no time in cutting ties with Gwen.

"Yeah," Rhys rubbed his forehead and sighed. "Jack asked me to keep an eye on her until he figures out what to do with her. My first assignment as it were."

"Shite mate, that blows."

Rhys scoffed, "You're telling me! I want nothing more than to be done with her for good, but of course it can't be that easy. Bloody woman's manipulated me for years and now that I know about it there's not a damn thing I can do."

Rhys was so frustrated by all of this; he just wanted to start over, to figure out what the hell he was going to do with his life now.

"But there is," John said, interrupting Rhys' reflection. "Now it's your turn to manipulate her. After all, what's that saying again about fairness and love?"

"All's fair in love and war?" Owen said.

"That's the one," John said excitedly. "Look at it this way Rhys, if I can call you Rhys, after all of the wasted years don't you think that she deserves a little of her own medicine?"

Rhys shrugged his good shoulder. He couldn't say that he was opposed to the idea of a little revenge.

"She used you and your affections, now it's time to turn it around brother. After all, she may not realize it, but war has indeed come to her door." John said darkly.

Owen and Rhys would normally have been a bit disturbed by the darkness in John's tone, but they knew that he only spoke the truth. Gwen Cooper had declared war, and a war she would get.

The men were interrupted by Tosh's voice as she spoke into her communicator.

"Alright, I'll tell them. Do you need us to do anything? Okay, sure." Tosh began taking notes. "No, that's no problem, it's been quiet this morning, we'll take care of it. Okay, see you then."

The Doctor climbed down from Myfanwy's aerie and joined the others who were all waiting for Tosh to finish her conversation.

"That was Ianto," Tosh explained. "He was letting me know that Jack just beamed himself to the garage for the SUV so we wouldn't think that it had been stolen."

The tech rolled her eyes at her boss' antics. John just grinned and Owen grumbled something about Star Trek and Captain Kangaroo.

Tosh continued, "The hospital is going to release Rhiannon soon and then they are going to pack up their belongings before they head back to Cardiff."

"Did he say how Rhi is doing?" Rhys asked; if he could get his hands on Johnny Davies there would be nothing left.

Tosh smiled at the man, "She's better, it will take a while for her to recover, but there won't be any lasting physical effects."

It went without saying that the mental and emotional effects on not only Rhiannon, but the children as well were a different matter.

"Ianto did give me a list of some things that they need from the shops, so I thought that John and I might get them and take them to the house. I've never been, but Ianto said it was alright if I go. John, Siani and Ianto don't know that you're here yet, Jack wanted to keep it a surprise."

"Alright my little snapdragon," Owen rolled his eyes at John. "I'm ready whenever you are."

Tosh smiled affectionately and nodded her head at her mate.

"Owen, Ianto's asked if you wouldn't mind stopping by to check on Rhi and the kids after they've settled in and had a chance to rest."

"Sure, I can swing by later tonight."

"And Rhys, Jack wanted to visit with you before you head home." Rhys just nodded, already dreading having to leave.

The others heard him muttering about "returning to the viper pit."

Tosh couldn't help but feel badly for the man, he had really been through the ringer over the last few days. She could only hope that they dealt with Gwen soon so that he could get on with his life.

"Alright, John and I will go to the shops. Doctor, do you mind assisting Owen if anything comes up? The Rift looks to be quiet, but you never know."

"Certainly, Miss Sato. The T.A.R.D.I.S. has told me in no uncertain terms that she does not want her conversation with Mainframe interrupted again unless it's an emergency. I don't understand why running out of milk is not an emergency, but we've agreed to disagree on that point. Besides, I still don't understand all the whatzits and whodads of rugby, and I'm hoping that the Welshman in residence can help me along."

The Doctor rocked back and forth while grinning at Rhys.

"Your ship can communicate with Mainframe? How-"

"Alright gentlemen," John interrupted as he helped Tosh on with her coat and started guiding her toward the garage. "We'll see you all in a few hours."

Tosh pulled on John's hand to stop him, "Don't forget to keep an eye out for Gwen, especially when you head to the house. Ianto does not want her knowing where they live."

"Yes ma'am!" Owen replied with a salute as John once again pulled Tosh away. The men could hear the laughter of the couple as they left the Hub.

"So, what's a scrum and why does Jack say that rugby is practically porn?" The Doctor asked as he sat down backwards in the chair John had vacated.

"What?!" Rhys exclaimed.

Owen couldn't help but laugh. What else could he do when he worked in a madhouse?

Chapter Text

Previously:

Tosh pulled on John’s hand to stop him, “Don’t forget to keep an eye out for Gwen, especially when you head to the house. Ianto does not want her knowing where they live.”

“Yes ma’am!” Owen replied with a salute as John once again pulled Tosh away. The men could hear the laughter of the couple as they left the Hub.

“So, what’s a scrum and why does Jack say that rugby is practically porn?” The Doctor asked as he sat down backwards in the chair John had vacated.

“What?!” Rhys exclaimed.

Owen couldn’t help but laugh. What else could he do when he worked in a madhouse?

 

Chapter 23
36 Tynged-Dragwyddol
Cardiff, Wales, Earth, 2008

One broken jaw, two suspensions, and a little over three hours after Johnny’s brother showed up, Rhiannon was released from the hospital. They wanted to keep her longer, but agreed to let her go since she would be under Owen’s care.

Johnny’s idiot brother ended up having his jaw wired after he threatened Rhiannon and the kids, and then took a swing at Jack. All of this occurred in the presence of his Superintendent, which resulted in the suspension. He really is an idiot.

After all of the drama and several choice words, it seemed that the Superintendent finally had the fear of Torchwood in him. They could only hope that it might delay the inevitable confrontation with the Davies boys a little longer.

Now they were all back home in Cardiff; Rhiannon and the kids were resting, all tucked in together in the large bed of the third floor guest room that had been Rhiannon’s when she visited her Tad-cu as a girl. Johnny knew nothing of this house thankfully, and they fully intended to keep it that way.

Jack had gone to check on things at the hub about an hour ago and they expected him to return at any moment; Ianto and Siani had elected to stay at the house in case Rhi or the kids needed anything.

They were both in the kitchen after making sure that everyone was settled; Siani sat at the bar, watching as Ianto made them both some coffee. She leaned against the island, watching Ianto with concern; Ianto was doing what he always does when he is stressed or upset, cleaning.

“Yan.” She said.

“Yes?” Ianto replied, not looking away from where he was scrubbing at an imagined spot on the kitchen counter.

“I really do love these countertops that you chose.”

“Hmm? Oh, right. Yes, they are lovely, Welsh slate.”

“Of course,” Siani couldn’t help but smile at that, her proud Welshman. “You know, I think I would like them even more if there wasn’t a giant hole worn through them.”

“What?” Ianto finally looked up, and realized what he had been doing.

“Sorry,” he said sheepishly. “Nervous habit.”

Ianto turned and put the sponge away before turning to face her.

“I gathered,” Siani said. “How about we try a new nervous habit.” She suggested with a smile.

Ianto sighed and then chuckled, running his hand through his hair.

“What did you have in mind?” He asked.

As good as his coffee is, it can wait. Instead of answering, Siani took his hand a lead him into the front sitting room, and directed him to the far end of the couch before sitting down astride his lap. Moving her hands slowly up his arms, to his shoulders and around his neck, Siani leaned down and kissed him. They continued with their cwtch for several minutes, not allowing the kiss to escalate, but simply basking in the comfort of the other’s touch.

Some time later, Siani reluctantly pulled away and stood up, in spite of Ianto trying to make her stay on his lap.

“Shoes off Mr. Jones, and the belt.” She instructed imperiously.

Ianto quirked an eyebrow.

“This sounds like the beginning of something that I’m really going to like, but I feel I should remind you of the two children upstairs that could wake at any moment. Also, Jack should be home soon with the Doctor.”

Ianto wrapped his arms around her and laid his chin on her stomach so he could still see her face.

Siani laughed.

“I’m well aware, just humor me.” She said while playing with his hair.

“As you wish.” He grinned, and reminded himself to have them all watch The Princess Bride soon.

“Now, lay down on your front.”

Ianto quirked an eyebrow at the command.

Siani raised one in return.

“Didn’t even buy me dinner first, and it’s ‘take off your belt Ianto’ and ‘lay down Ianto,” he said with a grin while moving to do as Siani instructed. “I’ll have you know that I’m not that sort of girl!”

Siani laughed at Ianto as he looked up from his prone position on the couch. Apparently that line was still humorous in the 51st century.

“Don’t worry sweetheart,” she said with a grin. “I promise you’ll like it.”

They tried, they really did try, but with Siani leering at him and Ianto fluttering his lashes, neither one was able to keep a straight face for long.

Shaking with laughter, Siani laid down on Ianto’s back while they both attempted to compose themselves.

Finally, after several near-hysterical minutes, Siani leaned up wiping away her tears of laughter.

“I love this!” Siani said. “Just being able to spend time with you and not having to worry about how soon you’re going to wake up. It’s nice.”

Ianto smiled and grasped her hand that laid on his shoulder, bringing it down to press a kiss against the back.

“I do as well my love, and I’ll be even more happy once our lives calm down enough for us to have some uninterrupted time together. Hey, maybe we’ll even get to take a vacation, or a honeymoon!”

“Mmm, where would you want to go on this honeymoon?”

Siani sat up astride Ianto’s back-side, leaning forward to massage his shoulders and neck.

“Well-ohhh gods, that’s amazing!” Ianto moaned. He couldn’t remember the last time someone had given him a massage. He spaced out for awhile, just too relaxed to even think.

“Yan?” Siani asked after several minutes of silence. “Are you still awake?”

“Not sure...”

Siani laughed, leaning forward to place a kiss at the base of his neck.

“You need to relax more. So, what does one do on a this honeymoon?”

Ianto reluctantly turned his head to reply. “Well, some people go to the beach, others go camping, some explore new places; but mostly, sex.”

“Really?” Siani replied, intrigued by the idea of a trip solely for the purpose of sex.

A sex-cation? Ha! She sent that thought to Shae and received some very interesting mental pictures in reply.

“So this is a trip people take in celebration of their bonding?”

Siani stood up so that Ianto could lift himself from the couch.

“Yes, except it’s referred to as a wedding here instead of a bonding.”

Ianto stood and wrapped his arms around Siani’s waist.

“That sounds like fun, I’d like to do that, maybe see more of this world of yours.”

“Then we’ll just have to make it happen.” Ianto smiled at his mate. “But first, I suppose we should decide what to have for dinner, the others should be here soon. I’m surprised Tosh hasn’t made it yet.”

“Good idea, what do the kids like?”

“Well...” Ianto grinned mischievously before pulling back and leaning down. He picked Siani up and put her over his shoulder before heading to toward the kitchen.

Siani squeaked and laughed at the relocation.

“This is getting to be a habit with you, Mr. Jones!”

“Yep, making off with fair maidens! It’s a hobby.”

Siani giggled as Ianto carried her into the hallway on his way to the kitchen. She was doing her best to distract him, which was not too difficult given her, quite frankly, perfect position.

He has the most delicious bum!

Their giggling was interrupted though by the sound of keys in the frontdoor. Jack walked in first, followed by a group of people.

“I love my life!” Jack said as he took in the scene of Siani over Ianto’s shoulder, with one hand on his bum and the other reaching around his waist trying valiantly to unbutton his trousers, while Ianto teasingly smacked her hand away.

Unable to see the others from her position, Siani laughed and said, “If he would stop pushing my hands away it would be even more fun by now!”

“I haven’t seen my twin in decades and wouldn’t you know, the first time I do she’s molesting the locals!” John quipped from behind Jack and Tosh.

“Carad!” Siani exclaimed (screamed).

She jumped off of Ianto’s shoulder, narrowly missing a rather sensitive area, and ran at her brother. John had to drop the bags of shopping in order to catch her. Thankfully, Tosh had the foresight to carry the breakables.

What followed was a rather unintelligible conversation between the two crying siblings as they conversed in the tongue of their home planet; one that the Doctor couldn’t make out even with the help of the TARDIS.

He frowned at that. He should be able to understand almost any language.

The others all stood back and let the siblings have their moment of reunion.

Tosh looked on with fondness, happy that her soulmate and her new friend had finally found one another.

Jack stepped over to wrap himself around Ianto from behind; he had watched him tense up when John had spoken, and Ianto had yet to take his eyes off of John. He hugged the Welshman close as they watched Siani beam with happiness at her brother.

“It’s alright Yan, I promise, he’s not at all what he appeared to be.” Jack snuggled Ianto, placing a kiss behind his left ear.

Ianto slowly began to relax as he watched the siblings interact; he noticed that Tosh seemed to be watching them closely as well, but with a wide smile on her face.

Strange...

“So,” Jack said with a pout, interrupting Ianto’s musing. “What naughty things were you two up to while I was slaving away at work?”

Ianto laughed, then reached up to run his hands up and down Jack’s arms.

“Sorry to disappoint you Cariad, but you walked in on the naughtiest bit.”

Jack sighed dramatically, “You two clearly need my supervision! I left you alone for more than an hour and you’re still clothed. I’m very disappointed in you, Jones Ianto Jones.”

Ianto tilted his head back and whispered in Jack’s ear, “It was rather naughty of me, wasn’t it? I suppose I do deserve to be punished for such a serious oversight, sir.”

Unable to help himself (and who could blame him), Jack pulled Ianto into a heated kiss while pulling his hips back to show him just how much he loved it when Ianto called him “sir.”

Rolling his eyes, the Doctor picked up the shopping that John had dropped before squeezing in between the canoodlers and the wall to make his way into the kitchen.

“That will take some getting used to!” John said, startling the two men apart.

He was met with identical frowns, which caused Tosh and Siani to grin.

Holding his hands up and walking toward the pair John said, “Now, now, no offense intended boys! I’m happy for you all, truly.”

Looking Ianto in the eyes, John continued, “I must apologize for how I treated you when I was last here, Ianto. Most of it was me maintaining my cover, but I will admit that I was a bit nasty to you. It was difficult seeing Jack so happy with someone other than my sister. I should have seen it then, that you were made for them, but I will admit to being a little obtuse about it. So, what do you say, start over?”

John held his hand out to Ianto, who took it after a moment’s pause.

“I’d like that,” Ianto said with a small smile. “You’re important to Siani and Jack; I can understand how seeing Jack and I together before might have looked to you. And, well, anyway, welcome. We have plenty of room, so feel free to make yourself at home.”

“Oh goodie! Slumber party!” John pulled Siani into another enthusiastic hug.

NO!” Jack and Siani said together causing John to pout and Ianto smirk.

“I take it that there’s a story there.” Tosh said with a grin.

“Oh yes there’s a story.” Jack said with a glower towards his brother-in-law. John just smiled at him innocently before stepping back to take Tosh’s hand and pull her forwards.

This immediately caught Ianto and Siani’s attention of course.

“The last time-” Jack started to say, but was interrupted by Ianto.

“Tosh?”

John and Tosh shared a smile and it finally dawned on Siani.

“Oh my goddess!!! You-and-no! Seriously?” She exclaimed with excitement.

“Yep!” John said grinning widely while putting his arm around Tosh’s shoulders.

“Ah!” Siani grabbed them both into a hug and proceeded to jump up and down. “I can’t believe this! It’s so fantastic!”

“I know!” Tosh said, getting caught up in the excitement herself.

“Squishing the bananas, I knew I should have carried the bananas!” The Doctor grumbled as he slid past a smiling Jack and a confused Ianto to take the bags that Tosh was still holding while bouncing. “No one appreciates the banana enough in this place!”

The Doctor’s grumbling form retreated back into the kitchen with the bags.

“Okay, not to be intentionally obtuse here, but what’s going on?” Ianto asked once the trio finally stopped jumping.

“I,” John began and the three settled and stepped back, allowing him to wrap an arm around the two most important women in his life. “-just happen to be the most blessed man in all the galaxies, because this pint-sized package of perfection is my soulmate!”

The other four occupants of the hallway smiled while Ianto processed.

“And, you’re happy with this Tosh? This is what you want?” Ianto really wasn’t trying to be an ass, he just had to know that this was what his friend really wanted.

Tosh grinned at Ianto, looking happier than he had ever seen her. “Yes, Ianto, this is what I want. We’re getting to know one another before we move forward, but I couldn’t be any happier, truly.”

“Well then,” he replied seriously and then paused.

John began to feel a little apprehensive. Ianto was Tosh’s best friend and could make things very difficult for him if he chose. He was really regretting all those “Eye Candy” comments right now.

Jack and Siani shared and apprehensive glance, they were starting to become concerned with Ianto’s reticence.

Unable to hold it any more, Ianto’s face split into a grin. “Congratulations to you both, this is wonderful!”

He stepped forward and hugged Tosh, which of course meant that John had to hug them both, and then Jack and Siani decided to join in as well. Which then led to the inevitable...

“You know,” John said. “If two of us weren’t siblings, this would be the beginning of one hell of an orgy!”

Jack and Siani laughed, they were used to Carad’s sense of humor; and Tosh and Ianto shared a glance before shaking their heads and sighing. This was their family now.

All five of them were startled apart however, when a small voice asked from the stairs, “What’s an orgy?”